[Idle-dev] Other places to discuss IDLE?

Ronald Oussoren ronaldoussoren at mac.com
Mon Jan 26 06:52:44 CET 2009

On 25 Jan, 2009, at 22:52, Bruce Sherwood wrote:

> I'll comment that David Scherer, who in 2000 made a major upgrade to  
> IDLE in connection with his creation of VPython (vpython.org), has  
> recently done some work off to the side to make needed improvements  
> to IDLE, and not just bug fixes. I think he got discouraged by there  
> seeming to be no real path for making changes that would make it  
> into the regular Python distribution, so he has gone in the  
> direction of building (again) an alternative version of IDLE that we  
> would package as "VIDLE" with distribution of VPython. This  
> initiative is however on hold at the moment because he has personal  
> business to attend to at this time. I do expect him to get back to  
> this work within a few months.

AFAIK the best way to get changes into the python.org tree is to file  
bugreports with patches.

> Here is an informal list of problems (BAS is me, DS is Scherer):
> On Mac, BAS notes sluggishness of the scrollbar slider getting  
> behind the mouse in a serious way, even hanging up.

Patches are greatly appreciated.


> On the Mac, nonactive windows don't display their selections.  This  
> makes find and replace utterly unusable in IDLE, since the item to  
> be replaced isn't highlighted!


> There is no options/preferences window on the Mac!

There is a bug in all released versions of 2.6 that surpress the  
options/preferences menu unless you install a custom Tcl/Tk framework  
instead of relying on the system install of Tcl/Tk.

> The Mac key combinations need work.
> On the Mac, mouse control often gets messed up after switching away  
> and back to IDLE.

> Mac users expect to be able to scroll on a trackpad by dragging two  
> fingers; the current Mac IDLE doesn't deal with this.


> Scott David Daniels commented on Mac IDLE problem of misplaced  
> editing position:
> To get evidence of this -- start idle from a terminal window
> with a "python25 -m idlelib.idle" where python25 is the path to your
> python executable. You get output on stderr each time the mouse drops
> a line of mouse positioning.
> Jim Mueller reports:
> -------------------
> 2754      6 days ago       Mac version of IDLE doesn't scroll as  
> expected       open      alextrob
> http://bugs.python.org/issue2754
> 3549      6 days ago       Missing IDLE Preferences on Mac        
> pending      pchew
> http://bugs.python.org/issue3549
> After reading the first one, I can verify that I see this effect too.
> The second one states that the Options->Configure menu has
> become IDLE->Preferences on the mac, but there was a bug in how they
> checked the Tk version.  So it should bite you if you have a version  
> of
> Tk < 8.4.10.  It states that this was fixed on Friday and is in the
> trunk and backported to the 2.6 and 3.1 versions of Python.  (3.1?)

That's correct. The fix is in the 2.6 maintenance branch and the  
Python 2.x and Python 3.x trunks. I  haven't had time to backport to  
the 3.0 maintenance branch yet.

> Anyway below is my previous message, which is probably out of date  
> now.
> I have tried out idle from both the current Enthought and the one that
> comes with MacPython.  The only things I see are:
> 1) If I open a new window, or open a file, occasionally I get an error
> RCNE SendEventToEventTarget (suom Moved               ) failed, -50

> This does not happen every time, and maybe it could happen selecting
> other menu items.  I haven't tried everything, and it is intermittent
> on those where I do see it.  I can't give an impression of whether it
> occurs more frequently in one distribution than another, because after
> playing for 5 minutes on each, I only have a handful of instances
> total.  Any comparison would no be statistically significant, but it
> does not seem to be a large problem.  Of course that might just be my
> hardware.
> 2) If I click in one window and then back in source window, Focus is
> changed to the source window but the cursor position is still where it
> was when I was last in that window.  Once focus has been shifted to
> that window, cursor move properly when I click on text.  This is a
> "feature" that I see all the time on Macs.  When I have two browser
> windows open I click on a button in one, it has no effect unless that
> window already has the focus.  This is sometimes annoying for me in
> that I don't want to have to click twice to get something to happen.
> Other times I am happy that the button I just happen to click on while
> trying to bring a window to the front didn't actually register the
> click.
> 3) I haven't been able to get the scrollbar problem to occur, but
> again if it is an intermittent problem, perhaps I just haven't tried
> long enough.
> 4) The reason that the new Enthought distribution has a "Configure
> IDLE" menu option is that they threw out the IDLE.app.  Instead they
> provide a simple shell script, ".command" which then runs   "/Library/
> Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/Current/bin/idle" in a console
> window.  So the configure problem is in IDLE.app, not idle.
> Later, more from Jim Mueller:
> The patch works.
> In macosxSupport.py, if you change the line
>    if tkversion >= '8.4.14':
> to
>    if map(int, tkversion.split('.')) >= (8, 4, 14):
> then you get an IDLE->Preferences menu, which contains all the  
> configuration stuff.

Of course this works, I wouldn't have closed the bugreport unless I  
knew the issue was fixed by my change (unlike whoever introduced the  
bug in the first place, the if statement was introduced somewhere  
during the development of Python 2.6 and never did what it is supposed  
to do).  I hadn't noticed before because I don't actually use IDLE  
myself (or Tkinter for that matter)
> I haven't checked the 2.5.4 version of MacPython, but since this
> change only went into the repository on Friday.  It might not be in  
> the
> bundle.

The fix shouldn't be necessary for 2.5.4, unless someone helpfully  
backported the bug to the 2.5.x branch.

BTW. W.r.t to Mac isssue: some of the issues mentioned above might be  
related to Tcl/Tk problems, which would mean there's no easy fix for  
them.  I'd really appreciate if someone who actually know's Tcl/Tk and/ 
or Tkinter could look at these problems, I know just enough of Tkinter  
to make obvious bugfixes and not enough to actually investigate these  

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