[Idle-dev] IDLE File Editor - Windows shell

Jason Doucette jason at jasondoucette.com
Wed Nov 2 01:34:58 CET 2005


> 1. Confusion between tabs and spaces
> I feel that IDLE should work only in tabs and not try converting from
> tabs to spaces and back again.
> ...
> However a new line after an 'if' statement appears to add an extra
> tab (- a nice feature) but as four spaces, not as a tab, even though
> the default tab setting is 8 spaces.  This behaviour appears to be
> independent of the Toggle Tabs setting.
> This behaviour basically makes IDLE impossible to use as each line
> will have a different tab arrangement.

I have witnessed the same thing.  I believe the solution is that IDLE should 
accept Tabs or spaces, but hide this from the user.  In other words, it 
would be great if IDLE would pretend 4 spaces was a Tab (meaning when you 
backspace over it, you need only backspace once, not four times).

This problem is complicated with the fact that Python does have a strict 
restriction on what is used for indents -- it can be tabs, or spaces (and 
any number of spaces, at that).

Also, I believe a bug exists that the setting for tab indentation size (the 
number of spaces a Tab represents) only takes effect on re-start, IIRC.

> 2. Displaying non-printing (tabs, spaces and end-of-line) characters
> Is there some way to do this ?  I have gone through all the settings
> without success.

I believe this is not possible.  However a more knowledgeable person should 
answer this for you.

> 3. Wordwrap
> How do I turn this on, to wrap at the window edge?

Again, I believe this is not possible, but a more knowledgeable person 
should answer this for you.

Please note that the style guides recommend that Python code not be wider 
than 79 characters, although I know this is very annoying in practice. 
Please read this section of the Style Guide for the suggestions and ways to 
deal with long lines properly:

Maximum Line Length

> 4. Code Context
> A great feature, but can it be synchronized with the cursor position
> rather than the top of the page?  Also could the window expand or
> scroll to show all levels of the current loops, not limited to 3
> levels?

Wow, this is a great feature.  I was unaware of it until now.  Yes, I agree 
on both points:  It is unintuitive to be synchronized with the top of the 
page, instead of the cursor position.  And, it would be great if it showed 
more than 3 levels when necessary.

> 5. Class Browser
> Another great feature, but this would be more useful if it could be
> docked in the edit window rather than floating free.

In general, the window positions are erratic.  It would be nice if they 
remembered their previous positions.

> I look forward to any comments and/or assistance that can be offered.
> Best regards
> Errol

Thanks for your comments.  I recommend reading previous posts by Kurt Kaiser 
(in response to my posts) regarding providing bug reports and possible 
improvements.  He has posted a lot of good information.

Take care,

Jason Doucette / Xona.com
www.jasondoucette.com / www.xona.com

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