[Python-Dev] IDLE in the stdlib

Thomas Wouters thomas at python.org
Fri Mar 22 00:17:38 CET 2013

I expressed this opinion at the sprints (right before I left) in the group
discussion with Guido and Nick, but I'm not sure if it's been represented
in this thread yet (I'm jetlagged and talk about Windows command prompts
depresses me) -- so I'll just rehash it: distributing IDLE in the binary
packages people download from python.org means *python-dev is still
responsible IDLE*. We can't distribute something that we don't support.
Even for the third-party libraries we're wrapping we're taking
responsibility for updating them, fixing specific bugs or working around
the bugs in the wrappers. Removing IDLE from the source tarballs isn't a
way to disown it, or shed responsibility. The benefits of having IDLE in a
separate repository, as I see it, would be that we can have separate access
control for the repositories, and possibly make it more approachable for
new developers, and easier to re-use by other Python implementations. We
couldn't even sensibly stop accepting bugs for it on bugs.python.org.

It may well be that moving IDLE to a separate repository is the right
thing, but only if there's an active team of people working on it that
would prefer it that way. And only if we realize that if IDLE languishes
again, python-dev is *still* on the hook for it, even in the separate
repository. I don't know if excluding it from the source tarball gains us
anything on top of that -- although I do think we should move 'idlelib' out
of the standard library :)

Thomas Wouters <thomas at python.org>

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