[Edu-sig] IDLE wish (was Edu-sig Digest, Vol 31, Issue 16)

Dethe Elza delza at livingcode.org
Mon Mar 6 06:13:20 CET 2006

> Have said 4 times now that I have no problem with it in the standard
> distribution.

My apologies for misrespresenting you, but that is how you were  
coming across.  I was trying to address the perception more than what  
you actually said, but I could have made that more clear.  I'm sorry  
about that.

> And never said I didn't like it - as it is, i.e. with its current  
> scope.
> Why does my position here keep getting misrepresented?

Um, possibly because you come off pretty strongly, and seemed to be  
upset that it was even being discussed?

> And no, I am not suggesting we don't fix bugs.

But that's kind of how it came across.  Of course, others weren't so  
clear about the scope they were addressing, either.  There was room  
for improved communication all around.

> You know where the line is - I don't.  But we seem to agree there  
> is a line
> to be watched.

I don't necessarily know where the line is, but what folks are  
proposing (i.e., fix the more egregious things in turtle.py, so that  
it is usable more or less as-is) seems approporiate to me.  That  
doesn't make it so, just one voice and all that.

> Long history of not feeling like I am working within a  
> meritocracy.  Nobody
> could find it in their heart to support me on the contention that  
> an IDLE
> that cannot run a setup.py is something to be addressed.

Sorry, I don't remember that discussion, but I don't follow every  
thread that closely.

> Perhaps if I found
> some support when I try to push a point that is straight-forward  
> sensible
> (nothing seems to happen without *some* pushing), I'd be less  
> reactive in a
> discussion that had some unavoidable level of controversy.

I think someone else mentioned here that often when there is no  
feedback, it's because others on the list either have no strong  
opinion on a matter, or aren't familiar enough with the issue to push  
their opinion, or have nothing relevant to add to the discussion.  On  
other lists sometimes people will post with nothing more than a "+1"  
in the body, kind of like, "Yeah, what you said" or "me too!"  On  
this list, as far as I have been able to observe, people mainly wait  
to post until they have something more substantive to add to the  
conversation (which often means we see more posts that disagree than  
posts that agree, since it's easier to substantively disagree).

> If I take my boyscout hat off, and put on my businessman's hat - it  
> seems to
> me that a vpython in the standard distribution would be a much more
> significant thing to think and work toward if we are concerned about
> Python's popularity and its utility in the classroom.

I'd love to see a VPython in the standard distro, but it's not going  
to happen.  The VPython folks have enough trouble getting it to  
compile and run on both Windows and Linux (the only way to run it on  
a Mac is to pretend it's Linux, load it up with tons of linux  
libraries, and run it under X-Windows instead of the native Mac  
interface).  Python runs in lots of places that VPython never will.   
Tkinter tends to run in most of those places as well, which is  
probably why it is still bundled with the standard distro.

All that given, I'd be in favor of seeing a "more batteries included"  
distro of Python for the big three platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac)  
that included VPython, PyGame, and other neat toys.  But recent  
efforts with the Cheese Shop and easy_install are making an uber- 
distro of Python less necessary, since it's becoming much easier to  
add the libraries you need/want.

> Mostly because it
> actually highlights some of Python's indigenous strengths - not only
> providing friendly access to high performance graphics in C++, but  
> doing so
> in such a way that the C++ graphical objects can be subclassed and  
> extended
> in pure Python.  Seems to me - with my businessman's hat on - that  
> one wants
> to showcase those kinds of facilities.  It's competitive out there.  
> And as
> useful as a turtles might be in the classroom, there are many  
> turtles out
> there, and there is nothing indigenous to Python about them. Get  
> Python -
> its turtles are pretty OK. My businessman doesn't get excited.

Yes, turtles aren't going to be big sales items for Python, but this  
isn't the python marketing list.  Teachers dig 'em, kids get 'em, we  
should at least fix 'em so they work consistently.


"Any idea that couldn't stand a few decades of neglect is not worth  
anything." --Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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