[Edu-sig] Re: [Visualpython-users] Close, but no cigar

Bruce Sherwood basherwo at unity.ncsu.edu
Sat Aug 9 20:45:13 EDT 2003

I'd be happy to change the name of the desktop icon. It could still be 
called "IDLE for VPython" instead of "IDLE for Python". Would that be 
preferable? I thought it important to have a desktop icon, because the 
"IDLE (Python GUI)" menu item is buried so very deeply in the Start 
menu. Where it should start isn't so clear; "IDLE (Python GUI)" starts 
in C:\Python23, which is moderately inappropriate too. A more neutral 
starting point would be My Documents. But as you say, labeling it for 
VPython would seem to be better than what I did.

I'm not ecstatic about completely overwriting config-main.def. It would 
be better for the VPython installer to edit that file, and for PyGeo 
also to edit that file (e.g. adding an entry for the PyGeo help). Does 
anyone know how to do this kind of thing in the context of an installer? 
(I'm using Inno Setup.) I did think I'd covered the problems by 
prominently stating what the installer does, and inviting sophisticated 
users to make adjustments if they wish.

I'm not sure I understand the distutils issues you're raising. Are you 
saying that I should be using distutils, or are you saying that you 
understand why I can't use this mechanism, but wish it were possible?

Bruce Sherwood

Arthur wrote:

> 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
> Windows.
> 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
> directory.
> 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"
> directory.
> 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.
> Bruce,
> Be reasonable on this.
> Please.
> Art
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