ActivePython on Windows: References Question

Alex K. Angelopoulos aka at
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

+ Resources:
The two primary online resources people starting to use Python should know seem
to be
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:
(see the Mini-FAQ entry)

This version only mentions Python in passing.


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