[Edu-sig] Close, but no cigar

Arthur ajsiegel at optonline.net
Sat Aug 9 19:51:32 EDT 2003

Bruce Sherwood has released a new VPython for Python23.  IDLE has always
been the editor which is "supported" by Bruce for the purposes of his
physics curriculum, so the integration of IDLEdev into IDLE for Python23 has
provided an opportunity for the simplication of the VPython distribution on

But despite the fact he is and has been content to have the vpython docs and
demos reside under ...site-packages\visual, he still cannot use disutils for
his Windows distribution.

He takes advantage of the new ability to add the VPython help files as an
*additional* resource to the IDLE help menu.  Which is exactly why he is
content to have the docs "buried" in ..\site-packages\visual\docs.

The problem is that the config-main.def file which needs to be touched to
accomplish this is in ../idlelib, not off the site-packages tree.  So out of
reach of bdist_wininst.

The other customization he chooses to make is a desktop icon which has
..\sitepackages\vpython\demos as its "start-in" directory.  Which is why he
is content to have the vpython demos under ''\site-packages\visual\demos

But he can only do this with disutils if win32all is known to be installed.
An assumption that Bruce cannot reasonably make.

My criticism of the distribution (besides my previously stated discomfort
about how Numeric is handled) is the fact that the icon placed on the
desk-top is simply called "IDLE for Python" - no indication of it having
been placed there by VPython, custom to its needs (as to the "start-in"

For a PyGeo distro (which relies on VPython), for example, it would be
perfectly reasonable to expect that I would add reference to the PyGeo help
files in the IDLE config files, rather than replace the reference to the
VPython help files.

It is not reasonable to expect me to live with a desktop icon to the one and
only IDLE that points to the VPython demos as its start-in file.  And expect
the PyGeo user to fend for himself.  But nor am I comfortable, or have any
particular reason, to want to overwrite a VPython shortcut to IDLE.

The VPython placed shortcut should be clearly named so that it is understood
it is placed on the desktop by VPython, and the approproate icon to hit when
firing up to work on VPython.

And I can do the same as to PyGeo.

I can't believe there is any technical issue involved, especially as it
currently assumed we are both working with full-blown Windows installers.


Be reasonable on this.



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