[Edu-sig] more on digital math...

Scott David Daniels Scott.Daniels at Acm.Org
Sun Aug 9 00:40:14 CEST 2009

kirby urner wrote:
> ... Another piece of feedback came from this PSU professor who really
> likes the language but found IDLE to be almost a show stopper on her
> Mac, as it'd crash and then not reboot because of some "socket error".
> I mentioned killing zombie snakes in the task manager on Windows but
> she assured me this wasn't the problem, plus her students reported the
> same thing.  Her impression was IDLE is not supported and that there's
> no one to turn to when your IDLE is crashing.  I said I'd look into
> this for her.  I've not had this specific problem, though I do need to
> kill zombie snakes on occasion.

My hope is tat with Snow Leopard we get to a more stable Tkinter, and
because of that, a more stable Idle on OSX.  I've no inside knowledge
about whether that will come true, but I'm hoping the Aqua vesion of
Tk will do the trick.  I see a little movement of fixes connected to
Idle (as in I finally got a note from someone about an old Idle Patch
of mine), so there is definitely some reason to hope.  If Tk is not
stable, there is no hope for Idle.  If Tk gets stable, I think we
ought to be able to repair the Idle bugs.

I personally think Idle is crucial to learning Python easily.  If
Idle does wind up broken, perhaps the better educational scroungers
could rustle up a few shekels or skilled software hors to fix it.

I'd make sure they know about numpy and/or scipy as well, because
having easy matrix calculations is a _big_ win as you get into
3-D calculations.

--Scott David Daniels
Scott.Daniels at Acm.Org

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