[Edu-sig] Changing to future division sitewide

Michael Williams michael.williams@st-annes.oxford.ac.uk
Sun, 12 May 2002 11:49:23 +0100

We are about to embark on a series of trials of the Python language with
a view to replacing Pascal as the teaching language here in the
department of Physics at Oxford University [0]. We have a day (!) to
teach the language so we are really keen on using the new division that
returns a mathematically intuitive result (see
<http://www.python.org/peps/pep-0238.html>) as it is one less thing to

[0] Hence this port to EDU-Sig

However, our students will be using idlefork to program (both
intereactively and in stored modules). Is there any way we can get the
new division behaviour sitewide, i.e. we would like the new behaviour in
the following situations:

1) typing python at a command prompt (alias "python" to "python -Qnew"?)

2) running a module they've saved (or indeed any module)
   This might be problematic as it would presumably apply to all modules 
   on the system which might break things--although this is a fresh 
   install of Python. All we have here is Python 2.2.1, Numeric,
   Gnuplot.py (a Python wrapper of the Gnuplot program) and idlefork
   (which is the development version of idle).

3) Someone using the interactive interpreter in idlefork

Presumably this is going to involve doing more than one thing if it
ieven possible. We could always tell our students to put "from
__future__ import division" at the start of every program without
explaining it, but that's the kind a black magic we hoped to avoid by
using Python rather than, say, C.

Yours hopefully,