[Python-Dev] IDLE in the stdlib

Eli Bendersky eliben at gmail.com
Wed Mar 20 19:22:12 CET 2013

On Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 11:09 AM, R. David Murray <rdmurray at bitdance.com>wrote:

> On Wed, 20 Mar 2013 09:41:53 -0700, Eli Bendersky <eliben at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > 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.
> On the other hand, after several years of almost complete neglect,
> we have some people interested in and actively contributing to making
> it better *in the stdib*.  Terry has proposed a PEP for allowing it
> to see more rapid changes than a "normal" stdlib package, and I haven't
> perceived a lot of opposition to this.  I think Terry's PEP represents
> less of change to how we do things than bundling an externally maintained
> IDLE would be, especially with respect to Linux.
> FYI I talked to someone at PyCon who is not a current contributor to
> IDLE but who is very interested in helping with it, and it sounded like
> he had the backing of his organization to do this (it was a quick hall
> conversation and unfortunately I did not get his name).  So we may be
> approaching an inflection point where IDLE will start getting the love
> that it needs.

The "choke point" is going to be core devs with the time and desire to
review such contributions though. We have a relatively strict process in
the Python core, which makes a lot of since *because* it's Python core.
Getting things committed in Python is not easy, and even if we get a sudden
influx of good patches (which I doubt) these will take time to review and
get committed. In an outside project there's much less friction.

IDLE would be a great first foray into this "separate project" world,
because it is many ways a separate project.

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