Python 3 is killing Python

Chris Angelico rosuav at gmail.com
Fri Jul 18 04:15:15 CEST 2014


On Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 7:30 AM, Terry Reedy <tjreedy at udel.edu> wrote:
> That is something of a problem as people 'graduate' to multi-language
> environments. However, while I have programmed in about 20 languages during
> my lifetime, I have now 'contracted' to using only Python (except for the
> occasional .bat file). So I use Idle to work on both my own stuff and on
> fixing Idle.  When I notice an issue while working on an issue, I file a new
> issue.

Glad to hear it. Best way to make sure Idle stays developed is for its
core developers to actively use it.

For myself, though, I completely do not use the editor half of it; but
it's spectacularly useful (with limitations) as my primary interactive
interpreter. That's partly because, on Windows, the command-line
interpreter absolutely *sucks* (because most of its UI comes from
cmd.exe - my view might be different if I had a different shell, but
there's no point because Idle just blows it away), and partly because
command recall/editing works on entire syntactic units rather than on
lines. In fact, if I were to name *one single feature* that made Idle
useful rather than a mere toy, it would have to be the ability to
recall an entire function/class definition from command history for
further editing. That is hugely helpful to me. It's what makes Python
actually 100% usable in interactive mode - go right ahead, define
functions and classes just as you would in a file! (Okay, you have to
watch out about blank lines. Not usually an issue, but you'll possibly
notice that I seldom have any internal blanks when I post a class
definition on-list - it's because I usually write them in Idle.)

The only problem I have with it is that blatting ridiculous amounts of
text to the console can take a very long time, esp on Windows. If I
accidentally display a large object when I thought I was displaying a
small one, it'll hang for quite a while, churning through something,
and it's not easy to see why or to halt it. But I suspect that's more
of a Windows and/or Tk issue than an Idle one.

ChrisA



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