[Edu-sig] Bootable Python CDs?

Ian Bicking ianb at colorstudy.com
Fri Apr 28 02:53:18 CEST 2006

David Boddie wrote:
> On Friday 28 April 2006 01:31, Ian Bicking wrote:
>> David Boddie wrote:
>>> These days it could be implemented more cleanly using the improved import
>>> hook mechanism.
>> You are right, that wasn't hard at all:
>> http://svn.colorstudy.com/home/ianb/httpimport.py
>> I haven't tested this seriously, and I'm not sure about the performance.
>>   Mmm... data loading also fits in.
> I don't think you need to worry about the performance. These are the main
> problems with my implementation that I found disappointing:
>  1. There's no way to import shared library modules unless you want to
>     cache them on disk before loading them. Having said that, I could
>     probably think of some possible workarounds. Ideally, for low level
>     stuff that needed these, you'd have a selection of different versions
>     for different operating systems and architectures on the server, and
>     the import hook would request the relevant one behind the scenes.

I was thinking about it mostly for "user" code, which would be pure 
Python.  And the subversion idea also appeals to me.

>  2. The help command didn't work properly, making it less useful for
>     interactive use.

Phillip Eby fixed this for Python 2.5 -- not necessarily for my hook, 
but at least making it possible.  I don't know if it's easily backported 
or not.  If not, that would be a real problem.  (Tracebacks also don't 
work nicely)

> In the end, an enhanced interpreter/workbook application could do lots of
> these extra things without needing to bend the rules of the import system.
> On the other hand, it's fun to code things that make you think differently
> about the language and interpreter.

Yeah, I'm kind of thinking about these things in terms of HTConsole; the 
"save" command at this point doesn't really save a module -- though it 
could be a module, it doesn't really feel like one, since "load" just 
executes the file in the current namespace.  But I dunno... this is 
mostly just at the playing around stage at this point.

Ian Bicking  |  ianb at colorstudy.com  |  http://blog.ianbicking.org

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