How do you execute an OS X application (bundle) from Python?

Alex Martelli aleaxit at
Fri Nov 5 16:42:07 CET 2004

Dan Sommers <me at> wrote:
> > that file -- nevertheless, I can be SO much more productive with my
> > editor of choice than with whatever the driving app may choose to use
> > for text editing, that, as a user, I still consider that important.
> Agreed.  My editor of choice these days is emacsclient.

> > The application should somehow be notified after point (4); any
> > earlier time would be inappropriate.
> Well, yes, but does TextEdit and/or Mac OS provide that functionality?
> Does KDE or GNOME?  Those are honest questions; I haven't written a
> native Mac application since OS9, and I've never written a KDE- or
> GNOME- aware application.

Me neither; I do expect that such notification is provided by any decent
(implies scriptable) app, but quite possibly in non-uniform ways across
apps; which means that the approach Just mentioned as being BBedit's
strikes me as preferable for such tasks.  emacsclient defaults to
waiting, though it does provide a -n switch for _not_ waiting...

> Let me try it this way:  Is a "text file" (or a "sequence of bytes or
> characters"), edited by hand with a text editor, the best interface to
> configuration information?  I must admit that I'm impressed by the
> amount of point-and-click configuration I can do with KDE; I never have
> to look at a config *file* unless I want to (but I can look at them if
> there's a problem, which seems to be the best of both worlds).

My preference is generally to edit text-files by hand; I do appreciate
tools that offer some shortcuts for simple and frequent tasks (though I
have my own editor macros/scripts, of course, so "by hand" may be a very
short task anyway), but I do NOT appreciate tools that remove that
option from me, either by keeping their configuration data in
non-textual form or by not integrating in their architecture the
possibility that the user will want to edit those data.

But it's not just about configuration.  Much as I like tools such as
Mail.App or MacSOUP, I resent _having_ to use their editors rather than
my favourite editor; and Command-A, Command-C, open editor, Command-V
(to start editing in my favourite editor the text that begins life in
the editor integrated in such apps), and viceversa when I'm done (plus
the closing of the editor), is about (at least) half a dozen more
shortcut keystrokes than I should need for such a common task.  Any app
that at some point makes me edit text, be it configuration stuff, an
email, a post, a memo to myself (e.g. in iCal), whatever, _should_ offer
a simple shortcut to let me delegate the editing to my favourite tool
for the purpose, in my opinion.

> Yes, some configurations are complex, and I *detest* the number of mouse
> clicks required by some of the associated interfaces (I'd much rather
> type [part of] the name of a directory than "navigate" a bunch of little
> disclosure triangles up and down the file system).  But I now believe
> that it's only a matter of time before we discover the right GUI
> paradigms to edit even these sorts of things (although I never used to
> think this way).

I disagree on the assumption that "the right GUI paradigms" will be
right for *me* after over a quarter century of exposure to Unix (by
_choice_, please note -- even when professional need had me working on
VM/SP, VMS, MVS, DOS, Windows, whatever, and become an expert on the
various systems in question, Unix is always what I pined for, and kept
coming back to whenever I could -- I must obviously be warped that way).


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