Just Getting Started with Python on MS XP Pro

DouhetSukd at gmail.com DouhetSukd at gmail.com
Sat Jan 6 07:23:19 CET 2007

Wise choice + welcome to the club.

Though Python is open source and well appreciated on Linux, I think you
will find that most people in this newsgroup will be fairly courteous
about _your_ choice of platform.  Some will not know about the weird
process forking stuff on windows and helpfully suggest that 'if you
were to use a real OS...'.  But in reality Python is just as happy on
XP as on Linux and the lack of scripting/shell alternatives on XP makes
it all the more useful there.

The only real XP drawback is that Python is not bundled on Windows,
while it is included with OS X and most (all?) Linux distros.

So, giving a *.py program to another XP user means little by itself, it
needs to be either packaged in an exe (see py2exe) or you need to get
your buddy to install python on their machine.

In descending order of cheapness/usefullness.

1.  download python + work through the tutorial.  well, maybe not all
of it, but with pythonwin around, you can try out significant snippets

2.  use any ol' text editor that _you_ are familiar with, save to file,
and python <file> under DOS.  later on you can always pick an editor.
i prefer eclipse + pydev, yes, even on windows.

personally, i find pythonwin _great_ to test out code interactively,
mediocre to write lots of code with and occasionally handy to debug
code in.

if you hate typing python <file> under DOS, then I guess you will have
to run programs from pythonwin.

3.  internet

this newsgroup is very informative.

dive into python, pretty good net resource


4.  books:

Learning Python, isbn 0596002815, is pretty good.

Python Programming on Win32, isbn 1565926218, is good, if a bit dated
(2000, covers COM but no .Net)

In depth Python - Python in a Nutshell, isbn 0596100469

5.  GUI stuff.

wxPython.  If, like me, you hate handcoding everything and want a VB
drag&drop clone you will have to look around for someone else's advice
- there are several such editors that do wxPython but I have never
found anything entirely to my liking.  I am sure others will chime in
with their recommendations.

6.  Database stuff.

Personally, working on MS SQL, I vouch for mxODBC - shareware, which I
used for years without paying, until I decided the guy had definitely
earned my $75.


7.  Prepping *.py programs for distribution to users w.o. Python

py2exe - www.py2exe.org/

Best o' luck.

More information about the Python-list mailing list