Error installing python on Windows

Mark Summerfield list at
Sun Mar 19 05:22:00 EDT 2017

Windows users (quite reasonably IMO) expect installs to "just work".

If Python needs extra bits it should ask the user if it can go get them and if they say Yes it should do just that. (And this should actually work -- unlike maybe, the Python 3.5 Windows installer.)

And as for searching Google for error messages, sure, experienced programmers do this, but many people come to Python as first-time programmers and don't realise.

The fact that Michelle asked on this list shows that she made an effort that I suspect many people wouldn't bother making -- I can't help wondering how many new people have been lost to Python since the new installer.

My experience has been that the new Python windows installer is less convenient than the old one. For example, with Python 3.6.0 64-bit on Windows the registry has to be fixed to be able to install popular packages like pywin32 (as well as less popular but excellent ones like apsw).

Furthermore, the old and new installers offer the choice of "install just for you" or "install for everyone on the machine" but give no explanation of what difference this makes. If you install for everyone, you'll find that pip won't work. (OK, sure it'll work, providing you use the --user option, but how many people will realise that --user means "install for me"?)

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