[docs] Bring Doc/using/windows up to date (issue 20265)

zachary.ware at gmail.com zachary.ware at gmail.com
Sat Mar 15 05:13:58 CET 2014

This review turned out a lot longer than I expected it to, but we're
moving in the right direction!

File Doc/faq/windows.rst (right):

Doc/faq/windows.rst:14: XXX need review for Windows Vista/Seven?
Reviewed Windows 7/8 by kw
Better to just remove the comment.  If we have XP and 7 covered, Vista
should be pretty well covered too.  The number of people still stuck
with Vista is pretty small compared to XP and 7+ anyway.

Doc/faq/windows.rst:23: Some users may find that method more efficient
than the below method.
I think adding this paragraph before the next one makes the next one
make less sense.  I think it would be better to segue into this from the
end of the next paragraph, something like "The situation has been made
somewhat simpler since Python 3.3, which introduced the

Doc/faq/windows.rst:49: "command prompt", which usually looks like
Sorry, I wasn't entirely clear.  Lines that you've changed should be
wrapped at <80 characters, but lines that you haven't changed should be
left as is.  If you have to, you can leave a very short line in the
middle of a paragraph, and if it's really bad, the committer can reflow
the paragraph at commit time.

For instance, this paragraph could be left like this:

@@ -37,7 +38,8 @@
 *typing* Windows commands into what is variously referred to as a "DOS
 or "Command prompt window".  Usually you can create such a window from
 Start menu; under Windows 7 the menu selection is :menuselection:`Start
-Programs --> Accessories --> Command Prompt`.  You should be able to
+Programs --> Accessories --> Command Prompt`; under Windows 8 right
click the
+Windows Icon or type Command Prompt at the Start Menu.  You should be
able to
 when you have started such a window because you will see a Windows
 prompt", which usually looks like this::

Doc/faq/windows.rst:142: an "Enter" to get out of it). Once you have
verified the directory, you can
This comment about needing Ctrl-Z to exit the interpreter isn't quite
right anymore, there is now exit() and quit().  Since this looks like a
reminder of a previous notice, that previous notice could stand to be
removed (or reworded) as well.

Doc/faq/windows.rst:147: More information about environment variables
and path can be found
The added "and path" doesn't sound right to me, but I can't put my
finger on what's wrong with it.

Doc/faq/windows.rst:357: How do I Change Environment Settings?
I still think we're better off linking to an outside tutorial instead of
trying to teach this one ourselves.

Doc/faq/windows.rst:361: built-in dialog.  There is an alternative
method that works for prior
This isn't true, `set` and `setx` work just as well on 7+.

Doc/faq/windows.rst:375: --> Advanced
This also works for 7, except "My Computer" is just "Computer" and
"Advanced" is "Advanced System Settings" in the left side menu.  I'm
pretty sure it also works on 8, but I've only tried it once and don't
remember for certain.

Doc/faq/windows.rst:378: Windows 7: Right-click the Windows Icon, choose
:menuselection:`Contol Panel`.
What do you mean by "Windows Icon"? Is that the Start Menu button (that
hasn't said 'start' since Vista)?  If I right click on it in 7, I only
get "Properties" and "Open Windows Explorer".

Doc/faq/windows.rst:389: Windows 8: Right-click the Windows Icon, choose
Same question about Windows Icon, though I haven't tested on 8.

Doc/faq/windows.rst:405: Windows 7 and 8 is using the :command:`set`
This is still true for 7 and 8.

Doc/faq/windows.rst:412: this file.
This paragraph should be removed entirely.  It is no longer recommended
to use autoexec.bat, and msconfig has nothing to do with setting
environment variables.  Instead, we should mention `setx`, which will
make the changes in the registry.

Doc/faq/windows.rst:414: Viewing environment variables in all Windows
versions 8.1 and below can also
No need to specify "8.1 and below", since that's all of them (and
unlikely to change for any version of Windows that Python works with).

Doc/faq/windows.rst:415: be done more straight-forward: The command
prompt will expand strings wrapped
Even more straightforward than `echo %var%` is to use `set` without an =
character.  `set` will list all currently set variables, `set abc` will
list all variables that start with "abc" (e.g., `set path` shows PATH
and PATHEXT, `set py` should show all variables that Python cares

File Doc/using/windows.rst (right):

A couple too many blank lines.

Doc/using/windows.rst:26: Start Menu under the title Python x.x where
x.x is the version number.
I think there is markup for something that expands to the version number
(`|version|` perhaps?) that would simplify this.  Or just hard code the
version and we'll add it as a place that needs to change at release

Doc/using/windows.rst:28: * IDLE (Python GUI) - suitable for creating
and running Python Scripts along with being a command line interpreter
I think IDLE can be better described as "a simple IDE for Python,
written in Python using Tkinter"

The 'Module Docs' entry is missing.

Doc/using/windows.rst:33: All versions can be installed and will run
independently. The Windows command
I would reword this to something like "Multiple versions of Python can
be installed next to each other without interfering with each other."

Doc/using/windows.rst:34: prompt typically runs the last installed
version of Python.
This isn't really true: Command Prompt runs whichever one it finds first
when it checks PATH for 'python', which will be none of the above unless
you choose to let the installer change your PATH.  I'm not sure how best
to word that for this section, so it may be best to just nix this
sentence and cover it in more detail elsewhere.

Doc/using/windows.rst:60: in "`Installing Python"
This needs some work; the section in question no longer has "For Windows
users" in its title anywhere, and is "Python: Installation" rather than
"Installing Python".  Also, it looks like this guide doesn't say
anything that we aren't already saying here or in the FAQ.

Doc/using/windows.rst:91: Python through the Windows Command line and
set environment variables.
"the Windows Command line" -> "Command Prompt (cmd.exe)"

Also, set which environment variables? Why? Those are the questions we
need to answer here.  Thinking about it some, we don't really even
*need* to set any env vars to use Python, since the installer can take
care of changing PATH and the launcher is installed into a dir that is
*always* on PATH anyway.

Doc/using/windows.rst:97: window will close immediately, usually faster
than the user can read.
Both of these lines and several others have trailing whitespace.  You
can get rid of all trailing whitespace with relative ease by running
Tools\scripts\patchcheck.py using a repository build of Python
(PCbuild\python[_d].exe) before creating the patch file for upload.

Doc/using/windows.rst:200: #. Launch a command prompt [Windows 8 -
Launch Command Prompt (Admin)]
I still think any change here should be just moving the note about admin
rights from one line up to here.


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