[Edu-sig] Tk from IDLE: How to 'Hello World'?

Kirby Urner pdx4d@teleport.com
Thu, 28 Sep 2000 20:12:51 -0700

>If anyone wants to add remote execution in interactive mode to IDLE, I
>suggest joining the idle-dev list and contributing to the IDLE fork at
>http://sourceforge.net/projects/idlefork.  That source tree includes my
>changes, but I no longer have time to work on it.

Thanks for spelling this out Dave.  I was wondering if I was pushing
the envelope vs. what IDLE is able to handle, and you've confirmed
my suspicion.

I agree with what you say about scripts (easier to debug and so on),
but surely you agree that an intuitive IDLE wouldn't care, i.e. it
may be a convenience for the user to do Tk stuff only in scripts,
but IDLE itself should at least allow interactive function defs 
with Tk included.  It really should be a user option to enter defs 
right at the command line.

Looking through 'Python and Tkinter Programming', I don't find any
of these caveats re IDLE (I'll have to go back and check the Python
docs, but I don't recall anything there either).  Presumably IDLE 
is kind of "off to the side" and serious development work doesn't 
involve using it.  But a newbie from Windows world isn't necessarily
going to know that, especially given IDLE is bundled and is typically 
the first thing such a user will see (there's no real incentive to 
use the DOS box environment, given all that IDLE offers).

Likewise in the KDE and GNOME shells:  IDLE shows up as an IDE, 
a development environment, in at least some Linux distros (Mandrake 
in my case).  

So I think the literture is deficient in not underscoring this 
rather important limitation:  IDLE is not suitable for doing Tkinter 
programming.  That should be stated clearly and up front, if true, 
lest too many newbies get disillusioned with the experience of 
non-working code.

I realize that it's more the culture to try to dive in and fix
(as you've been doing), vs. to sit around and whine about stuff.
Point taken.  But it would have been a time saver, for me, to 
know what wasn't going to work in the first place.  I want to 
give realistic assessments of technologies to educators, and if
IDLE isn't useful in some respects, I don't like to always learn
the hard way.  Fortunately, in this case, I haven't already pushed 
IDLE + simple Tk scripting as a useful learning environment.

I'm sure there's a lot of technical fine points that could be
made in this area.  I don't want to spread misinformation if I
have the wrong idea.