[Tutor] Windows, Python and me

Rob Andrews rob@jam.rr.com
Sat, 11 Aug 2001 23:30:33 -0500

Roman Suzi wrote:
> Hello,
> I am not sure if my question fits here, but I see lots
> of such questions in c.l.p and probably this one could
> gather expert answers, easily found later via google.
> Keywords: Python Win32 Windows DOS prompt path setup start run install
>           CRLF edit editor IDLE
> For more than 4 years already I am working with Linux. But in order to do
> packaging of Python related material I need to make it "right" in Windows.
> And here I understand how difficult things in Windows are (compared to
> Linux). Below I refer to Win98 SE.

Just as linux appears bafflingly complex to native Windows users. ;-)

> 1. After installing Python under Windows, I can't just type "python" in
> DOS-prompt to run scripts. What is the easy way for the novice to set PATH
> correctly? ("> start python" works fine).

This is how to initiate an interactive Python session from the "DOS"
command prompt:

Microsoft(R) Windows 98
   (C)Copyright Microsoft Corp 1981-1999.

Python 2.1 (#15, Apr 16 2001, 18:25:49) [MSC 32 bit (Intel)] on win32
Type "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.

If you wish to add (for instance) c:\python21 to the PATH list of
directories Windows searches for executable programs, the simplest thing
to do is to back up c:\autoexec.bat and then add it to the PATH
statement (creating a PATH statement, if necessary):


> 2. Some tar.gz archives are using LF-line ends (and this is right thing
> for UNIX or under IDLE). However, such scripts are not editable in NotePad
> which is fabulous default Windows editor. What is the better choice:
> to get/provide CR-LF-ed text files or (how?) make users decode text files
> for themselves?

Isn't there a handy utility to handle these conversions between *nix and
Windows? WinZip is also great for handling such matters under Windows.

> The deadlock is: NotePad can't be used due to LF-ed py-files and IDLE
> internal editor can't be used because IDLE doesn't support non-latin-1
> chars... I could suggest Emacs, but for beginners... They will be
> pissed off not only for Emacs, but Python alltogether. This way or that
> solution must be "freely distributable".
> 3. What is the preferred way to run setup.py script? (MS DOS prompt
> doesn't work due to the problem no 1 above and if it works, how do I open
> MS DOS prompt in the needed directory and not in the C:\WINDOWS> ? (using
> cd or adding some bat or pif files to the directory with unzipped contents
> is not an option: it makes feel like Python doesn't suit into Windows
> environment well). Or do I need to get some freeware kind of Norton Editor
> for such tasks? (What Windows "Explorer" is for, then?)

Can't help you much on this one. I've never had any success with the few
methods I've tried to make Python scripts more handily executable under

> * * *
> I think, these questions have impact on Python usability under Windows.
> Probably, the best solution could be adding GUI to Distutils, so running
> JUST setup.py without options will bring up a dialog with all available
> options or at least a text-prompt for them (like this is done for Mac
> which do not have command line).
> The reason I posted this to Tutor is that probably I need to learn more
> about Windows+Python to resolve problems stated above. And yes, I have
> read Distutils docs. (please, tell if I need to reread them).
> Thank you for answers!
> Sincerely yours, Roman Suzi
> --

Hope some of this is helpful,
As Useless as we wanna be....
Useless Python!