[Python-Dev] IDLE in the stdlib

Terry Reedy tjreedy at udel.edu
Thu Mar 21 07:18:05 CET 2013

On 3/20/2013 8:38 PM, Neil Hodgson wrote:
> Terry Reedy:
>> Broken (and quirky): it has an absurdly limited output buffer
>> (under a thousand lines)
> The limit is actually 9999 lines.

I clicked Start / All programs / Python 3.3 / Python (command line)
 >>> help(str)
<space> (several times)
and scrolled back up and the result was as I described. Help was gone 
above the 'c' methods. That is not 9999 lines.

I believe I later specified 'as installed'. But you are right. If one 
knows to right click on the blue and yellow Python snake, select 
Properties, Layout, and find Screen Buffer Size and Height, then one can 
increase the miserly default of 300 to 9999, at least on Win 7. 'Under a 
thousand lines' may be a vague memory from XP. I am also sure that with 
XP, the settings would revert for non-admin users after closing. Maybe 
MS did upgrade Command Prompt a bit.

Oh, but we are not done with the stupidity of Command Prompt. If one 
does set the buffer to 9999 lines, it pads the output to 9999 lines and 
shrinks the movable scroll bar down to an eighth inch. If you move it. 
say, 1/20 of the screen, you jump 500 lines, which initially is way past 
your actually output. The standard 'modern' convenience of dynamically 
resized buffers and bars, such as found in the nearly 20 year old 
Notepad, is not for CP. (There is an idea for MS: junk CP and re-build a 
modern version on top of Notepad.)

Setting properties by right clicking the icon is not standard on 
Windows. There is no help available from the window that I could find. I 
also could not find anything about the properties dialog in Windows 
help. If you can find an official entry for 'QuickEdit Mode' and 'Insert 
Mode', please let me know. Python Setup and Usage also says nothing 
about using the Command Prompt interpreter.

Terry Jan Reedy

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