[Edu-sig] What is the Best Way to use Python in the Windows Command Line

Igor Támara igor at tamarapatino.org
Sat Dec 13 16:48:51 CET 2008

Hi, maybe for the first weeks use crunchy, install a server
somewhere, so they can use it, when you go further on the semester
you can get them involved in the cli.

Is a shame that advanced tools on the cli are hidden for people from
GUI ones.   Their minds will be "expanded" when they start to use
the cli.

Another way is to allow a machine with ssh for your students, so
they are able to use say ajaxterm or something like that to start
coding, they will be involved in having an account on a remote
machine that holds they work.  It turns interesting for people that
are only used to "just" a PC(or MAC), without knowing the power of
remote connections and the concept to **share** resources(machines
and materials) and publish(public_html) their work. Well, if it's
possible to setup a revision control system, on more courses, they
will start to appreciate powerful tools, maybe the most advanced
would be able to get in touch with many interesting things.

My high school students started to use subversion and they got
really involved and motivated when they saw graphics that showed
their commits :)

They have just finished their work now, but you can see a show of
the work done of one of them on 

He used visual python, pygame, curses and had a lot of fun coding...

Finally, an option would be to have a linux(livecd) where the cli is
really friendly where they have all the necessary packages without
the hazzle of administering viruses and unpredictable results...

P.D:We use Debian Linux at our school, and administration is really
painless.  Some of the students know how to install it, and have it
also at their homes.  This is a ongoing work that will reach its
10th aniversary ;)  They start to use linux from 6 years old...

csev> I teach a number of classes at the University of Michigan that are  
csev> about Python and that use Python.    We have gone from no Python  
csev> classes last year to five classes and four teachers that teach Python  
csev> at UM.  We share intro documentation on how to install and set up the  
csev> environment.
csev> One thing that really bugs me is that the WIndows Python installer  
csev> does not add itself to the Path automatically.
csev> Since I insist that students can be allowed to use Mac's or PCs - I  
csev> try to create a similar environment for both and the command line is  
csev> the lowest common denominator.
csev> I end up publishing detailed documents and screen casts to get python  
csev> into your Windows path.  It works but it is not where I want students  
csev> energy focused in the first week of class.
csev> I am wondering if there is another way.
csev> I generally do not like IDLE - it uses a socket which can get messed  
csev> up, bugs in the student's code seem to mess up the IDE, when a program  
csev> needs to open a data file - it is hard to force IDLE into a known  
csev> directory.
csev> Is there a way to use an icon and then start the icon an have the  
csev> current working directory (i.e. to open data files) be the same  
csev> directory as the Python file?  And then is there a way to get the  
csev> output to stop at the end and not disappear when the program finishes?
csev> I do not like solutions which include adding code to the student  
csev> programs to do things like pause before terminating or setting the  
csev> current working directory. The students have enough trouble figuring  
csev> out the 20 lines of code that matter let alone 5-6 lines of obtuse  
csev> code to set up the environment.
csev> I can continue to teach them how to set the PATH variable in Windows -  
csev> if anyone on this list has a suggestion - I would much appreciate it.
csev> Thanks.
csev> Charles Severance
csev> University of Michigan
csev> _______________________________________________
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Recomiendo Inkscape para hacer gráficos vectoriales
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