[Python-Dev] urllib.browse() issues

Eric S. Raymond esr@thyrsus.com
Thu, 6 Jul 2000 17:16:08 -0400

Fred L. Drake, Jr. <fdrake@beopen.com>:
>  > One significant difference is that my code gets the user preference
>  > for a browser from an environment variable, rather than a profile.
>  > This is appropriate for a preference that will be shared across multiple
>  > applications, and follows the pattern of well-known Unix envirinment
>  > variables like EDITOR.
>   Which is great for Unix users, but otherwise stinks.  I wasn't real
> happy with the .ini file thing, but wanted a way to configure it
> independent of the hosting application.

Environment variables work for Windows users, too -- and I believe
there's a functionally similar name/value pair facility available
through system resource forks on the Mac.  I really think a profile
file is excessively heavyweight here.  Environment variables or X
resources are a better medium for this kind of shared preference.

I've actually been seriously thinking, once this is in the Python
library, of going to the Perl and Tcl people and giving them code that
would make *their* standard libraries do the right thing with the
BROWSER variable.  It shouldn't only be portable across Python
applications, but across scripting languages as well -- something that
would be much harder to do with an .ini file.
>   And I'd like to be able to support several more browsers, especially
> on Windows.  I have no idea how any of this should be done for MacOS
> machines, either, which should be supportable.

I certainly agree with that goal.
		<a href="http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr">Eric S. Raymond</a>

Such are a well regulated militia, composed of the freeholders,
citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property,
as individuals, and their rights as freemen.
        -- "M.T. Cicero", in a newspaper letter of 1788 touching the "militia" 
            referred to in the Second Amendment to the Constitution.