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

Bruce Sherwood basherwo at unity.ncsu.edu
Sat Aug 9 21:11:58 EDT 2003

You are correct that Guido wants the default to be that IDLE start in 
the shell, not in an edit window, and he is not comfortable with the 
autosave feature, but IDLE does have features for changing these 
behaviors, both of which come from the VPython project and were 
innovations implemented by Dave Scherer. This is why the VPython 
installer instructions say very explicitly that these defaults are 
reversed by this installer, and alerts users to this. There was some 
discussion during the long idlefork development that the way to 
customize IDLE could include changing config-main.def, which was to be 
considered a legitimate move. That's how I knew how to achieve this effect.

For a huge number of users of VPython known to me (hundreds of students) 
it is important that IDLE start in an edit window and do autosaves. I've 
tried in various forums to explain what data these decisions are based 
on, and I won't repeat all of that here. I've prominently documented in 
the installer instructions what the situation is, and it is easy for a 
user to change it (and I'm open to improved wording of this). It makes 
sense to put a minor burden on the more sophisticated user rather than 
on the less sophisticated user (the latter alternative would be to start 
in the shell and disable autosave, but explain in the installer how to 
change this; abundant experience with users new to Python shows that the 
fewer the instructions the better, by a lot). By the way, all users will 
see the shell, because that's what the output window is.

Arthur, I do appreciate your writing up your concerns. I think you're 
right in your previous note to say that the desktop icon should be "IDLE 
for VPython" as it was when using the predecessor to the new IDLE, or 
some such, and I'll be happy to change it. I was a bit wary of this name 
because it could perhaps be misconstrued as claiming all of the new IDLE 
as a product of the VPython effort, which it is only in part. Maybe you 
or someone can come up with a better icon name (something like "IDLE - 
VPython demos", although you have to do an Open to get a demo). I'll 
wait a few days to see what suggestions crop up. Thanks.

Bruce Sherwood

Arthur wrote:

> Also as to the VPython distro:
> Guido has unambigiously stated a strong preference that IDLE start in
> interactive mode. (He can correct me if I am wrong).
> From my point of view, as the stated preference of the Developer of IDLE
> (not the BDFL) , I would and will respect that preference.
> Bruce simply does not see any significance to the interactive prompt.
> Incredibly. He states so repeatedly.
> The VPython distro - despite, I think, Bruce knowing full well Guido 's
> preference - imposes his own preference on the One And Only IDLE, over
> Guido's.
> So after the VPython install, the One and Only IDLE starts up as a text
> editor.  And will do so forever for any user who does not understand the
> fact that there is an ability to reset the default back to where it
> started - Interactive Mode.  In other words, precisely the user for whom
> Guido, it seems to me, feels it important that the Interactive Mode be
> default.
> Guido wrote the foundation code. David Scherer, Kurt Kaiser , and others
> made significant contributions to its development.
> Bruce - always, it seem to me, for good reason - pisses me off.
> Art
> -------------------------------------------------------
> This SF.Net email sponsored by: Free pre-built ASP.NET sites including
> Data Reports, E-commerce, Portals, and Forums are available now.
> Download today and enter to win an XBOX or Visual Studio .NET.
> http://aspnet.click-url.com/go/psa00100003ave/direct;at.aspnet_072303_01/01
> _______________________________________________
> Visualpython-users mailing list
> Visualpython-users at lists.sourceforge.net
> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/visualpython-users

More information about the Edu-sig mailing list