Yes, this is a python question, and a serious one at that (moving to Win XP)

Kenneth McDonald kenneth.m.mcdonald at
Thu Oct 13 22:30:58 CEST 2005

For unfortunate reasons, I'm considering switching back to Win XP  
(from OS X) as my "main" system. Windows has so many annoyances that  
I can only compare it to driving in the Bay Area at rush hour (OS X  
is like driving in Portland at rush hour--not as bad, but getting  
there), but there are really only a couple of things that are really,  
absolutely preventing me from making the switch. Number one is the  
lack of a decent command line and command-line environment, and I'm  
wondering (hoping) if perhaps someone has written a "Python shell"-- 
something that will look like a regular shell, let users type in  
commands, maybe have some of the nice features of bash etc. like tab  
completion, etc, and will then execute an underlying python script  
when the command is entered. I'm not thinking of IDLE, but something  
that is really aimed more at being a system terminal, not a Python- 
specific terminal.

Yes, I know that Cygwin is out there, but last I looked, they still  
went through the Win command-line window, which imposes a lot of  

More generally, has anyone written any python programs to administer  
various Win settings for which one must otherwise delve deep into  
mazes of twisty little dialogs, all alike? Or to help out with other  
annoyances? I know there are a lot of general utilities, but if  
they're in Python, I can also use them as a starting base for my own  

Finally, a significant incentive in doing this is that I could avoid  
a lot of installation hassle, since virtually everything has at least  
a decent installation package for Win. (I'd hoped this would happen  
for OS X, but it never has). Can anyone think of important python- 
related packages (release level, not cutting edge alphas) for which  
this might not be the case?

Many thanks,

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