Newbie help setting up

Thomas A. Bryan tbryan at
Sun Mar 12 06:21:49 CET 2000

Albert Wagner wrote:
> Just thought I'd reply to myself.  Lots of traffic on this newsgroup but
> no help for newbies.
> =================
> Albert Wagner wrote:
> >
> > I can't find any documentation on how best to setup/use directories
> > and/or environment vars for programming in Python. e.g. Where do I
> > unpack idle.tgz?

I would say that your criticism is unfounded.  There are *many* threads 
concerning "newbie" questions.  Configuration/setup problems are more 
difficult to solve than specific syntax/programming problems.  

Python does not use many environment variables.  To be more correct, 
I've never set environment variables for use with Python on my Linux 
macine.  Then again, I added the Python binary location to my PATH on 
windows so that I could use it from the command line without having 
to type the whole path name.  Then again, you never have to enter 
python at the command line if you're using Idle or PythonWin.  I once 
set an environment variable on a Solaris box to run a Python script at 
startup so that I could make the tab key expand function names.

Python doesn't *need* any environment variables.  If you tell us
something specific that you're trying to do, then you may need 
environment variables, but your question doesn't give enough detail.

You can use any directory structure that you like.  I personally 
have a Python directory where I keep things like and where 
I work on any Python experiments.  I keep other Python programs in 
directories that make sense For example, I have a separate directory 
of programs, including Python ones, that I wrote for work.

As for idle, that depends on the OS and whether you have administrative 
privileges.  Since it's just an IDE, it would be nice to put it 
somewhere where all users of your system have access to it.  Or 
are you the only user of this system?

For configuration questions, you need to answer the following questions:
What OS are you using?  
What are you trying to do?  
What have you already done?

It also helpful to know whether you're a system administrator trying 
to set up Python for your users or a hobbyist setting up Python for
your own personal use.

And although you may feel neglected, it's better to simply repost 
with more details than to complain that people who are probably 
posting in their free time, answering any questions whose answers
they know, haven't answered your question within 24 hours.

we're-not-ignoring-you,-we-just-can't-answer-the-question-ly yours

More information about the Python-list mailing list