[Idle-dev] [Python-Dev] Removing IDLE from the standard library

Stephen Hansen apt.shansen at gmail.com
Mon Jul 12 08:24:38 CEST 2010

On Sun, Jul 11, 2010 at 4:53 PM, Steve Holden <steve at holdenweb.com> wrote:

> Stephen Hansen wrote:
> > On Sat, Jul 10, 2010 at 9:23 PM, Guilherme Polo <ggpolo at gmail.com
> > <mailto:ggpolo at gmail.com>> wrote:
> >
> >     By "never had a problem" do you mean using some of the latest
> versions
> >     ? Here, running "idle" from a mac terminal and trying to type: print
> >     "hi" crashes when entering the quotation mark.
> >
> >
> > Huh? Works fine for me. Python 2.6.1, OSX 10.6.3, intel.
> >
> One of the good things about the python-dev community is its commitment
> to test-driven development. If you are prepared to define "fine" as
> 'successfully runs \'print "hello"\'' then I guess we should be
> perfectly happy about IDLE.

Er, how hostile.

My point is, the poster made an assertion-- that you couldn't do the simple
act as launching idle from a command line, and printing Hi. Maybe they
can't, I have no idea.

I know I can. I know that  I have also opened random python files, saved
them, and ran them with IDLE. I don't use IDLE beyond that though: I live in
TextMate on my mac.

My point was not, "IDLE is perfect". My point was, "You've claimed you can't
even print out a word in IDLE, so its utterly and completely non-functional"
-- and that assertion surprises me and I challenge.

I don't define IDLE as "fine", because I'm not qualified to speak to its
larger aspects-- as I only rarely use it. But the level of utter brokenness
that the poster I was replying to spoke of, I've never seen. Across multiple
versions of Python, IDLE, and OSX.

> From the lurking crowd-- Please don't consider removing IDLE until there
> > is a compelling replacement ready. It's better to have a limited IDE
> > that works everywhere (even if in a limited fashion-- people are free to
> > try out one of the many excellent full-featured Python IDE's out there
> > after they advance to that point) then not.
> >
> 1: I refuse to see why we need a "compelling replacement" for a piece of
> software whose performance might be actively deterring people from
> taking up the language. ["Have you thought about Python?" "Yeah, but I
> tried it {meaning "I downloaded some random Python release and tried
> IDLE, which by modern standards appears completely lame"} and it
> sucked". If this is our standard for "compelling" then it appears the
> command-line interpreter is the competition.

The claim that IDLE is "actively deterring" people from taking up Python is
in my opinion unsupported. I know a lot of people who have and do use it,
and I am personally (in my own experience) unaware of anyone who is actively
deterred from using Python because of it. Therefore, I see no negative, and
only a positive of IDLE's presence-- and so I'd want a compelling
replacement available before that positive was wiped out.

Perhaps your experience is different.

So be it: but -- uh, really, Hostile.  I was just sharing my own experience
with using and talking to people who use IDLE. I've found it -- on the mac,
but on other platforms as well -- an adequate but limited sort of IDE. I've
found more issues with it with the people I know who use windows then mac
(in particular, details of when the subprocess runs). But my comment was
simply: it has constantly worked for me in the limited use I make of it, and
I have a positive experience with the people I know that have used it.

If your experience is different, that's fine. Perhaps your experience is
more broad, more compelling, and representative of more people.

But I, personally, would consider it a significant loss if IDLE went the way
of the dodo or a third-party module.

-- Stephen
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