[Pythonmac-SIG] simple help?

Charles Hartman charles.hartman at conncoll.edu
Tue Mar 7 15:01:25 CET 2006

On Mar 7, 2006, at 2:39 AM, Christopher Barker wrote:

> Charles Hartman wrote:
>> I'm getting really tired of not understanding this: Can someone  
>> point  me to some single place that explains the whole path /  
>> PATH /  PYTHONPATH arrangement for Python? I know there are two  
>> sorts on the  Mac, framework and /usr, and I know some other bits  
>> and pieces, but I  have no clear overall picture.
>> This came to my attention when I downloaded and installed  
>> IPython,  which looks very nifty. I put it in my MacPython folder  
>> in / Applications -- but that's not really where it belongs,
> I think ipython is an executable script, so you want to put it  
> where those go. For stuff not installed by Apple, that is usually:
> /usr/local/bin
> then you want to make sure /usr/local/bin is on your PATH. You do  
> that by adding it to your /Users/YourName/.profile file, like this:
> export PATH=/usr/local/bin:$PATH
> A little googling should give you more info if you need it.

Thank you. This much I knew, but it's useful to have it spelled out.

I think that part of what confuses a non-Unix person like me is the  
distinction PATH / (executable programs and scripts) vs. PYTHONPATH /  
modules. (This comes up with IPython because embedding its  
interpreter in another program requires importing a module  
IPShellEmbed.) I find that my environment contains no PYTHONPATH  
variable, presumably because I've just been using the modules  
supplied with Python and with wxPython, and the installers have put  
them in (some) default places. So I assume that the new installer,  
too, won't set a PYTHONPATH.

> One more complication: the default dist-utils install directory for  
> scripts is not /usr/local/bin. It's a bin directory buried in the  
> depths of the Framework somewhere (I can't tell you where, as I'm  
> at home on my Linux box right now). You may want to add that to  
> your PATH too. The upcoming new installer is going to do that for you.

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