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

Tal Einat taleinat at gmail.com
Mon Jul 12 18:29:38 CEST 2010

On Mon, Jul 12, 2010 at 6:11 PM, Kurt B. Kaiser wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 12 2010, Tal Einat wrote:
>> On Mon, Jul 12, 2010 at 1:44 AM, "Martin v. Löwis" <martin at v.loewis.de> wrote:
>>>> FWIW this is why I started IDLE-Spoon (well, continued Noam Raphael's
>>>> project of the same name, in a sense). The idea was to have a fork of
>>>> IDLE with new features which need to be tried out by "beta testers" to
>>>> iron out all of the glitches before making it into the main version,
>>>> like IDLE-fork back in the beginning of the decade. However I have
>>>> utterly failed in promoting this project and getting "beta testers" on
>>>> board, at least partially due to the lack of interest from the
>>>> community (and admittedly my lack of PR skills).
>>> I think such a thing must inherently fail - precisely for these reasons.
>>> It's much better to release proposed new features along with Python,
>>> and wait for feedback. Users won't start trying things out until after
>>> the release. This is a general problem, and lead Barry Warsaw to believe
>>> that "release candidates" are an utter waste of time.
>> That's debatable, and I disagree. IDLE-fork was a great success, for example.
> We had major contributions from David Scherer, Guido, and Stephen Gava.
> But a key factor in its success was that I took it upon myself to keep
> IDLEfork sync'd with core IDLE using a cvs vendor branch and frequent
> merges.  Once the project was completed, I arranged with SF to move the
> IDLEfork repository, including history, back into Python.
> This was not done with Noam's branch.  As a result, it gradually drifted
> to the point where it became essentially unmergable.

Actually, Noam's branch was pretty much merged back as is -- that's
where IDLE's auto-completion functionality came from. The later
changes he made on that branch were never merged, as you mentioned,
because Noam never bothered.

I have been maintaining my own fork of IDLE for several years and
manually keeping it in sync with IDLE (this was simple). The
difference is that there was no single major new feature I was working
on, such as the addition of a sub-process in IDLE-fork or Noam's
addition of auto-completion. I was mostly making relatively minor
fixes and changes which were not interrelated. I saw no reason to have
them all merged back at once, so I posted patches as soon as I felt
they were ready, and did the best I could to get them accepted. I
eventually gave up on this process because every patch took far too
long to be addressed and finally accepted or rejected, and I realized
that most of the work I had done would never be merged back into the
mainstream version of IDLE.

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