Association for .py suffix on Windows: why doesn't Python 2.0 make it use IDLE?

Jukka Korpela Jukka.Korpela at
Fri Oct 27 14:46:01 CEST 2000

I just decided to learn Python, and I was positively surprised to see
how nice the IDLE GUI is in Python 2.0 for Windows. But the problems is
that Python doesn't seem to come with a nice description of how Python
is used on Windows. I was able to figure out the basics to some extent,
but it seems that it's unnecessarily difficult to an average Windows
user. It's a pity that the GUI is so nice but it's difficult to get
started with it.

In particular, the installation seems to associate .py and .pym suffixes
with pythonw.exe, with the effect that clicking on the icon of such a
file runs the program in the simple command line mode - and the command
line window closes automatically when the program ends. Not convenient.

Changing the association manually, setting the action to
C:\Python20\pythonw.exe C:\Python20\Tools\idle\idle.pyw "%1" %*
(assuming the Python interpreter is in C:\Python20 of course) seems to
make things work smoothly. But I'm afraid the average Windows user has
some difficulties in doing that, not to mention inventing it.

Am I missing something simple? Why doesn't the installer set things up
so that such an operation is not needed?
De gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum.

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