[Idle-dev] VIDLE for Python 3

Bruce Sherwood basherwo at ncsu.edu
Wed Sep 15 06:49:48 CEST 2010

I admit to being confused about the status of discussions about moving
IDLE forward. I've made a VIDLE for Python 3, and a patch file for
going from the Python 3 IDLE to the Python 3 VIDLE is available here:


Here are the details (which I added to the VIDLE copy of NEWS.txt):

In December 2008 David Scherer created an alternative version of IDLE to fix
some long-standing problems. In the 2009 Google Summer of Code Guilherme Polo
continued this work, assisted by Bruce Sherwood. Important new features
include a configuration preference that permits writing and running test
programs from the editor without having to save the file, and bringing the
shell window forward in case of an error (because novices often failed to
realize why their program had stopped).

Polo submitted patches at the end of the summer of 2009, found here:
This was for the Python 2.X series.

Because the mechanism was not clear for getting these patches into the
version of IDLE distributed with Python, the patched version has been
distributed with VPython (vpython.org) with the name VIDLE to attempt to
avoid confusion with IDLE. It is installed into site-packages.

In September 2010 Bruce Sherwood manually applied Polo's patches to the
version of IDLE distributed with Python 3.1.2, using relative addressing
of modules (e.g. from . import PyShell). Except for having to change one
absolute address in the use of __import__ in PyShell.py, this version
can work either in Python31/Lib/idlelib or in Python31/Lib/site-packages/vidle.
This Python 3 VIDLE is available at vpython.org and is included in the
Windows installer for VPython for Python 3 (at the time of writing, there
is not yet an installer for Mac or Linux).

Bruce Sherwood

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