On 16 March 2016 at 17:17, Chris Barker email@example.com wrote:
If someone installs a version of python with defaults, they should then get that version when they type "python" (or maybe "py") at the command line.
If they want something other than the last one they installed, then they'll have to mess with PATH or other configuration...
In theory, this makes sense to me. What it needs is someone to champion it. And address the inevitable questions/objections. The ones I immediately thought of were:
1. What if I want to install a version *not* for day to day use but just for testing (i.e., there needs to be an easily accessible "leave PATH alone" option). 2. How does this interact with uninstalls and upgrades? If I install 3.7, then 3.8 then uninstall 3.7, then install 3.6, then upgrade 3.8 to 3.8.1, what's left on PATH? (The answer I *want* is 3.8.1. That may well be a nightmare to implement). How does the above change if somewhere in the middle of that process I manually change PATH (in which case I may well *not* want 3.8.1 as the end result!)
It's easy enough to dismiss point (2) as "well, you know what you're doing", but I have experience of people doing a series of installs like this, getting confused with PATH and doing a google search to find out how to "fix" it. So it is a genuine situation a non-expert user could find themselves in.
After all, what do people expect when they have MSWord version X, and then install MSWord version X+1
But nobody *ever* runs multiple versions of MS Word. Whereas there are genuine reasons for people (and not just experts, although admittedly not complete beginners) to run multiple versions of Python. The MS Word argument implies that the Python installer should automatically and silently uninstall any older versions of Python present on the user's machine.