[Python-Dev] IDLE in the stdlib

Todd Rovito rovitotv at gmail.com
Wed Mar 20 18:11:18 CET 2013

On Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 12:41 PM, Eli Bendersky <eliben at gmail.com> wrote:
> Interesting writeup about PyCon 2013 young coder
> education:http://therealkatie.net/blog/2013/mar/19/pycon-2013-young-coders/
> Quote:
> "We used IDLE because it's already on Raspian's desktop. Personally, I like
> IDLE as a teaching tool. It's included in the standard library, it does tab
> completion and color coding, and it even has a text editor included so you
> don't have to start your class off by teaching everyone about paths.
> Too bad it's broke as hell."
> Personally, I think that IDLE reflects badly on Python in more ways than
> one. It's badly maintained, quirky and ugly. It serves a very narrow set of
> uses, and does it badly.
> Being part of Python *distributions* and being part of core Python standard
> library are two different things. The former may make sense, the latter IMHO
> makes no sense whatsoever. Outside the Python core IDLE can be maintained
> more freely, with less restrictions on contributors and hopefully become a
> better tool.
   Thanks for sharing that article it was a fun read.  I think the
next paragraph from the article is important as well:
"I believe my first contribution to the Python Standard Library will
be fixes to IDLE. I really do like it that much. Happily, the kids
were flexible. If they needed to do a workaround, or ignore something
on our slides (they were written with the standard shell in mind),
they did so. They were total champs. My adult students would have been
much more upset."

Having an IDE that ships with Python is powerful and follows Python's
mantra "batteries included".  Personally I think removing IDLE from
the Python Standard Library is a mistake.  IDLE helps the novice get
started as demonstrated by this article.   What is frustrating is many
patches already exist for IDLE in the bug tracker they simply have not
been committed.  PEP-434 (http://www.python.org/dev/peps/pep-0434/) is
designed to make it easier to get these patches committed.  I would
ask that you give PEP-434 some time and let the process work before we
start a in-depth discussion on if IDLE should stay or go.

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