[Python-ideas] Using Python for end user applications

Paul Moore p.f.moore at gmail.com
Tue Feb 7 10:27:56 EST 2017

On 7 February 2017 at 14:29, Steve Dower <steve.dower at python.org> wrote:
> You can leave python.exe out of your distribution to avoid it showing up on
> PATH, or if your stub explicitly LoadLibrary's vcruntime140.dll and then
> python36.dll you should be able to put them wherever you like.

Understood, but I may need python.exe present if the script uses
multiprocessing, so I'm trying to avoid doing that (while I'm doing
things manually, I can do what I like, obviously, but a generic "build
my app" tool has to be a bit more cautious).

LoadLibrary might work (I'm only calling Py_Main). I seem to recall
trying this before and having issues but that might have been an
earlier iteration which made more complex use of the C API. Also, I
want to load python3.dll (the stable ABI) as I don't want to have to
rebuild the stub once for each Python version, or have to search for
the correct DLL in C. But I'll definitely give that a go.

> I think what we really want is a self-extractor that "installs" into the
> user's AppData directory without prompting for admin. I'm seeing more apps
> about like this and I think it's the right model for Python.

My goal is explicitly self-contained applications - the "xcopy
deployment" model. I'm looking for things that can be used in *very*
constrained environments (no install ability, possibly not even any
access to locations outside of My Documents).

> 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 presume you mean http://electron.atom.io/? I've never used it, but
again my goal is essentially command line apps here. Definitely "pure
Python" apps. I don't know how I'd use electron from a Python script,
but I'm guessing you're looking more at targeting GUI apps with
traditional installers? It's an interesting area (GUI interfaces have
always been a rough edge in Python development) but not one I am
looking at at the moment. (Offtopic, but are there any tutorials on
building apps using Python and Electron, as it sounds like an
interesting thing to investigate).


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