[Python-Dev] IDLE in the stdlib

Eli Bendersky eliben at gmail.com
Thu Mar 21 04:36:39 CET 2013

On Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 7:57 PM, Raymond Hettinger <
raymond.hettinger at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mar 20, 2013, at 12:38 PM, Barry Warsaw <barry at python.org> wrote:
> Right.  Ultimately, I think IDLE should be a separate project entirely,
> but I
> guess there's push back against that too.
> The most important feature of IDLE is that it ships with the standard
> library.
> Everyone who clicks on the Windows MSI on the python.org webpage
> automatically has IDLE.   That is why I frequently teach Python with IDLE.
> If this thread results in IDLE being ripped out of the standard
> distribution,
> then I would likely never use it again.

Why is it necessary to conflate distribution and development. "standard
library" != "Python distribution".

Take the ActivePython distribution for example. They ship with extra
packages for Windows (pywin32, etc) and our Python installer doesn't. This
is a reason many Windows people prefer ActivePython. That's their right,
but this preference is not the point. The point is that it's perfectly
conceivable to ship IDLE with Python releases on Windows, while managing it
as a separate project outside the CPython core Mercurial repository.

This seems to me to combine benefits from both worlds:

1. IDLE keeps being shipped to end users. I have to admit the reasons made
in favor of this in the thread so far are convincing.
2. IDLE is developed as a standalone project. As such, it's much easier to
contribute to, which will hopefully result in a quicker pace of
improvement. The only demand is that it keeps working with a release
version of Python, and this is pretty easy. It's even possible and easy to
have a single IDLE version for Python 3.x instead of contributors having to
propose patches for 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4 simultaneously.

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