[Idle-dev] Removing IDLE from the standard library

Ron Adam rrr at ronadam.com
Mon Jul 12 00:38:02 CEST 2010

On 07/10/2010 06:05 PM, Tal Einat wrote:
> Hello,
> I would like to propose removing IDLE from the standard library.
> I have been using IDLE since 2002 and have been doing my best to help
> maintain and further develop IDLE since 2005.
> In recent years IDLE has received negligible interest and attention from
> the Python community. During this time IDLE has slowly gone downhill.
> The documentation and tutorials grow increasingly out of date.
> Cross-platform support has degraded with the increasing popularity of
> OSX and 64-bit platforms. Bugs take months, and sometimes more than a
> year, to be solved. Features that have since become common-place, such
> as having a non-intrusive search box instead of a dialog, are obviously
> and painfully lacking, making IDLE feel clumsy and out-dated.
> For these reasons, I think it would be fitting to remove IDLE from the
> standard library. IDLE is no longer recommended to beginners, IMO
> rightfully so, and this was the main reason for its inclusion in the
> standard library. Furthermore, if there is little or no interest in
> developing and maintaining IDLE, it should be removed to avoid having
> buggy and badly supported software in the standard library.

There might be another alternative.

Both idle and pydoc are applications (are there others?) that are in the 
standard library.  As such, they or parts of them, are possibly importable 
to other projects.  That restricts changes because a committer needs to 
consider the chances that a change may break something else.

I suggest they be moved out of the lib directory, but still be included 
with python.  (Possibly in the tools directory.)  That removes some of the 
backward compatibility restrictions or at least makes it clear there isn't 
a need for backward compatibility.

Would a change of this sort help make things any easier?

(Note: idle isn't in the lib directory on Ubuntu.)


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