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

Alex Martelli aleaxit at
Fri Nov 5 08:41:31 CET 2004

has <has.temp2 at> wrote:

> dfh at (David Hughes) wrote in message
news:<70bb9f8d.0411040250.1f4ac1a at>...
> > For example, in Python in a Nutshell, Alex Martelli shows how you can
> > run a Windows (notepad.exe) or Unix-like (/bin/vim) text editor using
> >       os.spawnv(os.P_WAIT, editor, [textfile])
> > But how would you call the OS X text editor /Applications/
> > - which appears to be a whole directory inside /Applications?
> Using os.system to execute open is pretty simple, as other folks have
> pointed out.

...but doesn't do the P_WAIT: just like using open at the Terminal
prompt, it immediately continues with your code even as TextEdit is
starting up.  The idea of that snippet is to let the user edit a
textfile for configuration, while until the user is done editing, then
read the textfile etc etc.  And it works file on the Mac with vi too.

But apparently the P_WAIT is not implemented in the Mac version of
Python like on the Windows version -- to *WAIT* until the app is done
before continuing.  So, it looks as if one will have to put in more
complicated code in that case:-(.

> replacement. Much improved, though unfinished, AE support is available
> from my site:
> from appscript import *
> app('').open(FSSpec(pathToFile))

OK, but how does one handle the *waiting*, so as to proceed only when
TextEdit is done editing that document?

"Spawning an external editor and waiting until the user is done using it
before proceeding" is an important architectural pattern (well examined
and analyzed in Raymond's "Art of Unix Programming", like many others).

Ideally it should be the external editor of choice for the user;
foisting vi on poor innocent machistas just because it's easy to wait
for THAT and hard to wait for TextEdit would seem mean;-)...


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