ActivePython on Windows: References Question

Alex K. Angelopoulos aka at mvps.org
Mon Jan 13 20:19:12 CET 2003


I do a lot of work with Windows Scripting Host and some other Active Scripting
environments (on Win32 of course).  I am about to post an updated version of a
WSH FAQ I keep, and wanted to get some feedback on my notes about Python use
from WSH.  Below are the points I am a little fuzzy on...

+ Python Distributions which can be Active Scripting Languages:
In the past, I've referred people to ActiveState's distro.  I'm not sure if this
is the only distribution that comes with support for use as a WSH/IIS/IE/MSHTA
hosted scripting engine; in fact, I'm not even sure if this is the preferable
version any longer, from the general perspective of the developer and user
community.

+ Resources:
The two primary online resources people starting to use Python should know seem
to be
http://www.python.org/
comp.lang.python
Are there any others that are not directly linked from the above that could be
important?  I want to keep this to the essential 3 or so.

+ Minimal "ActivePython":
Python is immense (particularly the ActiveState distribution), but from my
experience that immensity is modular and is really extension of Python to do
useful tasks in specific areas; the core of Python is still fairly small.  Can
anyone suggest a minimalist install (complete, or set of files) to use to get
Python working as an Active Scripting engine?  General pointers will work - if I
have the energy, I can try experimentation to get this right.

+ Activation of Active Scripting support and security issues:
As I understand it, there was some concern about potential security holes in use
of ActivePython a few months or more back; there was no actual known exploit of
any weaknesses, but there was the potential for exploits.  This is an
unfortunate side-effect of a scripting language with power also working as a
browser scripting engine, but the upshot of this is that Windows Python
distributions now don't activate Active Scripting support by default.  Is there
a single "best reference" site that discusses the process of enabling it and
also the security concerns?

Thanks for any help I can get!

FYI, the ancient version of the WSH FAQ I had is accessible from a sub-page of
my remote computing site:

http://dev.remotenetworktechnology.com/wsh/
(see the Mini-FAQ entry)

This version only mentions Python in passing.

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