DOS or not? [was Re: How to tell Script to use pythonw.exe ?]

Tim Golden mail at
Wed Jul 3 10:51:05 CEST 2013

On 03/07/2013 09:28, Andrew Berg wrote:
> On 2013.07.03 02:34, Tim Golden wrote:
>> While this is clearly true, it's by no means unusual for people to
>> refer to the "DOS Box" or talk about "DOS commands" etc. even when
>> they're quite well aware of the history of Windows and its Console
>> subsystem. It's just quicker than saying "Console Window" or
>> something.
>> I mention this because it seems to get called out every time
>> someone uses the term "DOS" on this and other Python lists and it
>> can smack slightly of pedantry.

> I really would like to prevent those who are not very familiar with
> Windows or its history from associating the limits and internal
> behavior of MS-DOS with the console subsystem of Windows NT.
> Especially with the anti-Windows sentiment that seems to be getting
> more popular (not that it's entirely without merit, but that's
> another topic for another day on another list), I'd rather see 
> operating systems judged on things that are actually true and not
> miscellaneous FUD spread by ignorance and confusion. 

We can certainly agree on this. I can't count the number of emails I've
deleted as too hot-headed in response to dismissive comments about
Windows as a platform. Some of them, at least, appear to be from people
who last actually used Windows back in the 9x days when the command
window was very limited indeed.

I realize it can
> come off as pedantic, but what may be obvious to those with of us
> with a lot of experience with different operating systems over the
> years can easily slip past a novice.

I suppose I view it in the same light as people (very few, thankfully,
in my experience) who go out of their way to correct "MB" to "MiB" when
talking about disk sizes. Or -- and I'm definitely guilty of this -- of
pointing out that London telephone numbers are all 020 plus eight digits
and *not* 0207 or 0208 plus seven digits. Whenever I do that I'm aware
that I'm technically in the right but that, for all practical purposes,
it's a needless precision.

Obviously, if it were clearly a source of confusion in some context I'd
clarify what needed to be clarified.


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