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

John Zelle john.zelle at wartburg.edu
Wed Mar 8 22:38:16 CET 2006

I also like the simplicity of lightning, but it would need some enhancements 
before I could imagine using it in class. For example, it doesn't seem to 
auto-indent and requires typing the filename on a save. I'm sure it would not 
be hard to tidy up those things. I'd also like to handle multiple open files.

I noticed on my system (Linux, Kubuntu 5.10), lightning plays well with my 
graphics.py library, but it seg faults if I try to use VPython. I don't think 
I would switch to an environment that doesn't play well with VPython, and I'm 
afraid that VPython is pretty closely tied to IDLE. Anybody know why packages 
like lightning and SPE (both wxPython) don't seem to work with VPython? Eric 
(QT-based) seems to work fine.

On Wednesday 08 March 2006 14:54, Brad Miller wrote:
> I just downloaded lightning and took it for a
> spin.  Its really very nice.  The simplicity of IDLE is one of the
> keys to the success of Python in our introductory CS courses.  But
> students do have a bunch  of trouble with IDLE on windows.  I like
> the fact that the traceback pane pops up right under the editor pane
> when you run a script and hit a problem.
> Regarding the 'batteries'.  What if we, as a community of educators
> using python, did something like the Enthought or MacEnthon people
> and created our own 'batteries included' distribution of Python.
> Students and other interested parties would have one stop shopping to
> get all the Python they needed to use python for learning computer
> science.  What packages would we include?

This is an interesting question. I think this idea of an educational 
distribution has been kicked around before. For those of us in the Linux 
world, installation of the major non-standard tools is pretty simple. I can 
just apt-get install the vast majority. For students with Windows or OSX, 
it's not as simple. I wonder of the cheeseshop and ez-install tools will 
eventually make it all pretty easy regardless of platform.


> > Andre Roberge wrote:
> >> On 3/6/06, Vern Ceder <vceder at canterburyschool.org> wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >> It might be useful for teachers in a classroom situation.  It is
> >> available
> >> from rur-ple's sourceforge page:
> >> https://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=125834
> >>
> >> On the down side, it does require wxPython which is not an
> >> "included battery"!
> >>
> >> André
> >>
> >>> Vern
> >
> > --
> > This time for sure!
> >     -Bullwinkle J. Moose
> > -----------------------------
> > Vern Ceder, Director of Technology
> > Canterbury School, 3210 Smith Road, Ft Wayne, IN 46804
> > vceder at canterburyschool.org; 260-436-0746; FAX: 260-436-5137
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John M. Zelle, Ph.D.             Wartburg College
Professor of Computer Science    Waverly, IA     
john.zelle at wartburg.edu          (319) 352-8360  

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