pyparsing Catch-22

Paul McGuire ptmcg at
Mon Apr 16 06:11:44 CEST 2007

On Apr 15, 8:26 pm, "7stud" <bbxx789_0... at> wrote:
> To  the developer:
> 1) I went to the pyparsing wiki to download the pyparsing module and
> try it
> 2) At the wiki, there was no index entry in the table of contents for
> Downloads.  After searching around a bit,  I finally discovered a tiny
> link buried in some text at the top of the home page.
> 3) Link goes to sourceforge.  At sourceforge, there was a nice, green
> 'download' button that stood out from the page.
> 4) I clicked on the download button and got the warning:
> -----
> You have selected to download the pyparsing-1.4.6 release.
> Below is a list of files contained in this release.
> Before downloading, you may want to read the release notes.
> -----
> 5) Can't find any release notes, nor any button to click to download
> the package.
> 6) Give up in frustration.
> 7) A few minutes later, I decide: I will not give up.
> 8) I go back to sourceforge and start clicking every link on the page.
> (Hello, porn sites! Just kidding.)  Still no luck.
> 9) Finally.  I click on something and a download begins.  I cancel it.
> 10) Now I know what to click on, and I download the docs and
> pyparsing-1.4.6.tar
> 11) Now what?  I'm new to mac os x, and I have no idea what to do.
> The wiki is devoid of any installation instructions.
> 12) I give up again.
> For as hard as you push pyparsing on this forum, I would think you
> would make it easier to download and install your module.   In my
> opinion, the wiki should provide detailed installation instructions
> for all supported os's, and the sourceforge downloading process is too
> complicated.

Me? Push?  Boy, a guy posts a couple of examples, tries to help some
people that are stuck with a problem, and what does he get?  Called
"pushy"?  Sheesh!  Fortunately, I get enough positive feedback from
these posts that my feelings are pretty resilient these days.

Anyway, thanks and point taken for the alert on this subject from the
newbie's perspective.  When I first wrote these installations and
started the pyparsing project on SF, I was fairly newb myself - I had
to ask Dave Kuhlman to write for me!  So I assumed the target
audience already knew the stuff I was having to learn.  I assumed that was just common knowledge among the Python world.

I think your suggestion of a Wiki page on this subject should fill
this gap neatly, especially since pyparsing is somewhat targetted at
the newb and near-newb user, one that is struggling with regexp's or
some other parsing technology, and just wants to get some basic code
working.  The other posts in this thread contain plenty of material to
start from.  Also, thanks for the Mac OS X point of view, most of my
work is on Windows, and a little bit on Linux, but absolutely none on
Mac.  And I see that I should not assume knowledge of tar, either, so
I'll be sure to mention its destructive streak, in overwriting
existing files with the same name as those in the archive.  Once
untar'ed, there *is* a file named README, with an introduction and
instructions to invoke properly.  But there is little harm in
repeating some of this on the Wiki as well.

I'm glad to see you perservered and got pyparsing installed.  You can
also run itself, which will run a simple SQL parser
test.  If you have not yet found the docs or examples, *please* look
over the sample code in the examples directory, and the class-level
documentation in the htmldocs directory.  The docs directory should
also include the materials from my PyCon'06 presentations.

Please post back, either here or on the Pyparsing wiki discussion
pages, and let me know how your pyparsing work is progressing.

-- Paul (the developer, but you can call me "Paul")

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