[Python-Dev] Second draft: PEP397: Python launcher for Windows

Michael Foord fuzzyman at voidspace.org.uk
Tue Mar 22 20:12:37 CET 2011

On 22/03/2011 07:21, Mark Hammond wrote:
> Hi all,
>   I've made some changes to the draft PEP and checked it into the PEP 
> repository as PEP397.  The reference implementation is currently being 
> tracked at http://bugs.python.org/issue11629.

Hey Mark,

One way of supporting alternative implementations (that may not even 
have a standard install directory) is allowing configuration. e.g. 

     ironpython = c:\Program Files\IronPython 2.7\ipy.exe
     ironpython2.7 = c:\Program Files\IronPython 2.7\ipy.exe
     jython = c:\Users\foobar\jython2.5\jython.exe

Pythons specified in this way should be recognised in the shebang line 
using any of the formats:

     #! ironpython
     #! /usr/bin/ironpython
     #! /usr/bin/env ironpython

This would also permit alternative install locations. (And it would be 
nice if the launcher could use the config file to *automatically* do the 
right thing for the 'w' variants.)

All the best,


> Most of the changes should not be too controversial, but of note:
> * I've added lots of discussion about the child-process issue and the 
> wording now states, basically, that in-process is not feasible, but if 
> we use the win32 Job API we can arrange for the child to be killed 
> with the parent on Windows XP and later.  The reference implementation 
> demonstrates this thanks to an example from Curt Hagenlocher.
> * 64bit and 32bit considerations have been added, along with basic 
> information about other distros and implementations.
> * The somewhat controversial optional first command-line parameter 
> which allows you to specify a particular version for interactive use 
> has grown an almost-certain-to-be-controversial option to specify the 
> bittedness of the Python you wish to start.  I've added this mainly as 
> it would scratch my personal itch as I tend to have 32bit and 64bit 
> implementations of most versions available and while this isn't 
> particularly common, I'm going to attempt to defend it on the 
> principle of "just don't use it if you don't like it" :)  Note the 
> reference implementation does not yet implement this, nor does it 
> implement the general policy about 32bit vs 64bit considerations.
> Please let me know what you think and what objections/comments/etc 
> remain.
> Thanks,
> Mark
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