python 2.7.12 on Linux behaving differently than on Windows

Skip Montanaro skip.montanaro at
Mon Dec 5 12:14:12 EST 2016

On Mon, Dec 5, 2016 at 10:49 AM, Steve D'Aprano
<steve+python at> wrote:
> In DOS, it might be the dir command itself. The disadvantage of the DOS way
> of doing this is that *every single command and application* has to
> re-implement its own globbing, very possibly inconsistently. That's a lot
> of duplicated work and re-inventing the wheel, and the user will never know
> what
>     some_program a*
> will do.

ISTR that the way DOS/Windows operate at the text prompt level was
modeled on VMS. As you indicated, each command was responsible for its
own "globbing". I've never programmed in DOS or Windows, and its been
decades since I programmed in VMS, but I imagine that both
environments probably provide some standard sort of globbing library.

On an only peripherally related note, I was reminded this morning of
how some/many GUI environments try to protect people from themselves.
I am just now coming up to speed in a new job which provides me with a
Windows window onto an otherwise Linux development environment. I
tried starting the X server this morning (something called Xming), and
it complained about not being able to write its log file (I suspect
Xming was alread. I tried to navigate to that location through the
Computer doohickey (Explorer?) but couldn't get there. The program (or
more likely the program's programmers) had decided that I had no
business "exploring" into my AppData folder. To get there, I had to
drop into a command prompt.

So, another vote for a text/shell interface. It gives you enough rope
to hang yourself, but assumes you won't, because, "we're all adults
here." I do understand why Windows hides stuff from users in the GUI
though. As a webmaster at monitor, I can attest to the
relatively large number of questions received there asking about
removing Python "because I don't use it for anything." :-) This
started happening about the time the long defunct Compaq started to
write admin tools for Windows in Python.


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