[Python-ideas] Using Python for end user applications

Thomas Kluyver thomas at kluyver.me.uk
Tue Feb 7 09:47:26 EST 2017

On Tue, Feb 7, 2017, at 02:29 PM, Steve Dower wrote:

> I think what we really want is a self-extractor that "installs" into
> the user's AppData directory without prompting for admin.

There's a PR in the works for Pynsist that will add a non-admin per-user
install into AppData:

Because of the way permissions work on Windows, if you do have admin
privileges, the installer will still request them so that it can offer
you the choice of a systemwide installation. But if you don't, it should
happily do a user installation without them.

> We probably want to include the Electron shell as well, or make it
> trivially easy to add (I've been using a built-in Windows tool that is
> similar, but it's not ideal). There's a real chance we could have very
> modern, cross-platform Python apps with this approach.

I've been thinking for a while about Python apps using Electron
(Positron? ;-). It's an interesting idea from the Python side, but I
struggle to come up with reasons why developing an Electron+Python app
would be easier than developing a regular Electron app. I prefer writing
Python to Javascript, but you'd need quite a bit of Javascript anyway,
you don't have to care about browser compatibility, and there would
inevitably be some extra friction in using two languages.

I'm sure there are use cases where it makes sense, like if you use
Python's scientific computing ecosystem. But I don't know how
broad they are.

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