python 2.7.12 on Linux behaving differently than on Windows

Chris Angelico rosuav at
Mon Dec 5 11:39:43 EST 2016

On Tue, Dec 6, 2016 at 3:23 AM, BartC <bc at> wrote:
> You still don't get point. I write a program P, a native executable. It
> takes command line parameters but exactly what it gets depends on whether
> it's started from a 'shell' or from inside another program? I don't want to
> worry about that stuff or exactly how it is invoked!
>> subprocess.Popen(["python", "", "%PATH%"])
> Yes, %...% is an escape sequence. Those % signs are supposed to stand out
> and have been chosen not to clash with typical input.
> And the end result of the transformation is, here, also a SINGLE thing; any
> parameter following will still be the second parameter, not the 14771th!
> Are you saying that the * in ABC*EF also makes the whole thing some escape
> pattern? And one that could massively expand the number of parameters,
> pushing all the following ones out of the way, and making it impossible to
> discover where these expanded parameters end and the normal ones recommence.

Yes. That is exactly what I am saying. Also, try this:

set ENV_VAR=test1 test2
python arg1 %ENV_VAR% arg2

How many args do you get? Is the end result really a single thing? Is
that single-thing-ness consistent across applications?

Windows's cmd.exe is not as simple as you think it is. Linux's bash is
not as insane as you think it is. Both of them take user input,
*MANIPULATE IT*, and pass it along. Keep on making these assumptions
and we will keep on proving them false.


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