[Python-Dev] Installation on Macs

Ronald Oussoren ronaldoussoren at mac.com
Wed Aug 15 09:17:41 CEST 2012

On 15 Aug, 2012, at 2:33, Raymond Hettinger <raymond.hettinger at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mountain Lion, the default security settings only allow installation of applications downloaded from the Mac App Stored and "identified developers".
> We need to either become an "identified developer" or include some instructions on how to change the security settings (System Preference -- General -- Unlock --Select the "Anywhere" radio button -- Install Python -- Restore the original settings -- and Relock).  Changing the security settings isn't appealing because 1) it weakens the user's security 2) it involves multiple steps and 3) the user will see an unsettling warnings along the way. 

You don't have to change the security settings, choosing "open" from the context menu will to the trick. This is only needed for the installation after downloading using a browser that supports Apple's quarantine solution (such as Safari, I don't know if other browsers mark files as being quarantined). 

That said, signing the installer would be more friendly to users and Ned has opened an issue for this: <http://bugs.python.org/issue15661>

> Another unrelated issue is that the instructions for updating Tcl/Tk are problematic.  In the past few months, I've witnessed hundreds of people unsuccessfully trying follow the instructions and having an immediate unpleasant out-of-the-box experience when IDLE crashes.  I suggest that we stop being so indirect about the chain of footnotes and links leading to a Tcl/Tk download.  I would like to see a direct Tcl/Tk updater link side-by-side with our Python installer link at http://www.python.org/download/releases/2.7.3/
> Someone did add a note the the IDLE startup screen to the effect of:  "WARNING: The version of Tcl/Tk (8.5.9) in use may be unstable.
> Visit http://www.python.org/download/mac/tcltk/ for current information."   In some ways this is progress.  In others, it falls short.  If IDLE crashes, you can't see the message.  If you have installed the ActiveTCL 8.5.12 update, you still see the warning eventhough it isn't necessary.  Also, I don't link that the referenced page is so complex and that it is full unsettling warnings, important notices, do-not-use advice, mentions of instability,  etc.  

Tk on OSX is a mess. The version that Apple ships tends to crash a lot on even slightly complicated code (or just someone that tries to input accented characters).  The ActiveState download is better, but there are still crashes and unexpected behavior with that version.  AFAIK most bug reports about IDLE not working correctly on OSX are due to issues with Tk, Ned should know more about that as he's the one that tends to look into those issues.

> I would like to see our download page have something more simple, affirmative, positively worded and direct.  For example:
> *  Mac OS X 64-bit/32-bit Installer (3.2.3) for Mac OS X 10.6 and 10.7 [2] (sig).  To run IDLE or Tkinter, you need to update Tcl/Tk to ActiveTcl 8.5.12 <http://www.activestate.com/activetcl/downloads> .
> That saves you from having to click a links down to a footnote at the bottom of the page <http://www.python.org/download/releases/2.7.3/#id6 > that sends you to <http://www.python.org/download/mac/tcltk> which is  another page full of tables, warnings,etc that leads you to the Apple 8.5.9 section <http://www.python.org/download/mac/tcltk/#apple-8-5-9> which is a dead-end because there are still known issues with 8.5.9, leaving you with the ActiveTCL section <http://www.python.org/download/mac/tcltk/#activetcl-8-5-12> which has a paragraph of text obscuring the link you actually needed: http://www.activestate.com/activetcl/downloads .
> I applaud that some effort was made to document a solution; however, in practice the daisy chain of footnotes, tables, and links has proven unworkable for most of the engineers I've been working with.

+1 on adding direct download links for Tk to the main download page.

> Raymond
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