[Python-Dev] Re: FWD: Re: Problem w/ IDLE on Win2000

Tim Peters tim.one at comcast.net
Thu Aug 7 00:17:44 EDT 2003

[Terry Reedy]
> The problem is that most changes are ok but one (which people are
> too likely to make) is not.

The real problem <wink> is that there shouldn't be a problem here at all.
The shortcut the installer creates to launch IDLE is fine, spaces or not,
and, e.g., the similar shortcut created to launch the Tk-based pydoc GUI
works fine if you install Python into a path with embedded spaces.  I don't
know why IDLE fails to start up, just that the reason isn't obvious.  IDLE
in 2.2 did start up, spaces or not.  IDLE in 2.3 is very different.  I
*suspect* 2.3 IDLE is getting screwed by building a command line for spawn
that isn't robust against embedded path whitespace.

> If \python23, etc, were required, people would complain about
> *that*.

Ya, people complain about everything.  That's a wash.

> I suspect the Wise Installer does not have an easy option to
> check user entries for spaces.

It's actually not hard to do that.  It shouldn't be necessary to do that,

> The root problem is Microsoft casually breaking working code for
> no decent reason.

I have no evidence of an MS bug here.  My sisters like putting spaces in
file names, which is why MS started allowing them.  The backward
compatibility problem then was severe, especially given system shells with
weak and inconsistent quoting gimmicks.  Python doesn't try to hide this on
Windows, and using spawn() or system() successfully from Python on Windows
requires that you deal with whitespace in the executable's path yourself.

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