Passing command line argument to program from within IDLE?

John Bokma john at
Fri Feb 5 00:46:52 CET 2010

John Bokma <john at> writes:

> Steven D'Aprano <steve at> writes:
>> On Thu, 04 Feb 2010 16:28:17 -0500, Steve Holden wrote:
>>> Terry Reedy wrote:
>>>> On 2/4/2010 3:55 PM, Alan Biddle wrote:
>>>>> Just finishing my first Python (2.6 on Win XP)  program, which is
>>>>> working fine.  My "Duh?" question is about how to run it from within
>>>>> IDLE and pass it command line arguments.  No problem using sys.argv
>>>>> from a Windows command line, but I have missed how you can do that
>>>>> from within IDLE, which complicates development and debugging.
>>>> I presume you mean edit, F5-run, see result in shell window. Set
>>>> sys.argv in test function or __name__=='__main__' In 3.1 idle shell:
>>>>>>> import sys
>>>>>>> sys.argv
>>>> ['']
>>>>>>> sys.argv = ['abc','dev']
>>>>>>> sys.argv
>>>> ['abc', 'dev']
>>>> I did not know it was writable, either, until I tried it.
>>> As a solution, however, that sucks, wouldn't you agree?
>> [scratches head]
>> Do you mean setting sys.argv as a solution sucks? No, I don't, I think it 
>> is grand. If sys.argv was unmodifiable, *that* would suck.
>> Or do you mean that trying it as a solution to the problem of answering 
>> the OP's question sucks? Well, no, experimentation is good for answering 
>> these sorts of questions, and I can't assume that the documentation will 
>> cover every imaginable use-case, or that users will find it. In the 
>> absence of any documentation stating otherwise, I would have assumed that 
>> sys.argv was an ordinary list which you can modify at will, but having 
>> been caught out on faulty assumptions before, I would try it and see 
>> before commenting publicly.
> I guess that Terry means that a solution that makes it possible to
> specify in IDLE *outside* of the Python code the arguments would be
> better. Hardcoding the command line arguments isn't something I would do
> for testing.

Oops, that should've been Steve, my apologies.

John Bokma                                                               j3b

Hacking & Hiking in Mexico - - Perl & Python Development

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