Sort-of OT: Learning Python

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Sort-of OT: Learning Python

Geoff Canyon
Those of you who know me know that I am always fascinated by  
different programming languages. I've programmed in more than a few,  
but read up on dozens. Lately I've been taking a stab at Python.

I'm keeping track of progress at http://learningpython.wordpress.com/

So far it's mostly gripes and rants ;-)

The reason I say sort-of off topic is that I'm making no secret of  
the fact that I come from a Revolution background. The latest post  
compares the out-of-the-box experience between Rev and a Python IDE.  
In Rev, installation and building a standalone application takes 16  
steps, including retrieving and entering the demo license code. In  
Python, after 10 steps I have downloaded nothing, installed nothing,  
and built nothing, have gone down a blind alley or two, and have more  
questions than I started with.

When I get past the install and start describing actually programming  
in Python, it should be better.

In any case, feel free to have a look and post feedback, even if it's  
just to point out where I went wrong in the Python install process ;-)

regards,

Geoff
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Re: Sort-of OT: Learning Python

Alex Tweedly
Geoff Canyon wrote:

> Those of you who know me know that I am always fascinated by  
> different programming languages. I've programmed in more than a few,  
> but read up on dozens. Lately I've been taking a stab at Python.
>
> I'm keeping track of progress at http://learningpython.wordpress.com/
>
> So far it's mostly gripes and rants ;-)
>
> The reason I say sort-of off topic is that I'm making no secret of  
> the fact that I come from a Revolution background. The latest post  
> compares the out-of-the-box experience between Rev and a Python IDE.  
> In Rev, installation and building a standalone application takes 16  
> steps, including retrieving and entering the demo license code. In  
> Python, after 10 steps I have downloaded nothing, installed nothing,  
> and built nothing, have gone down a blind alley or two, and have more  
> questions than I started with.
>
Before I go and read the blog, I'll take a wild guess that you're on a
Mac.  Why ?

1. Python installation on Windows tends to be pretty smooth  (both
Python itself and tools for it)
    Python installation on Linux tends to assume you know everything already
    Oh yeah, darn, better do something for the Mac too - try this ...

OK, OS X is probably not really an afterthought these days - but it used
to be, and often still feels like it.

For a long time I believed the inverse of Rev - that it must be really
smooth and work well on Mac, but it still had all these rough edges and
fairly "basic and unavoidable" problems on Win. Even though various
people on here said it wasn't the case, it still felt like Rev must be
an office full of Macs with the one PC used for creating release in a
corner somewhere. (Note - I said "creating a release", not "testing a
release" :-)

The last couple of releases (that's 2.6 and 2.6.1 - I'm not ready for
2.7 yet) have come a long way to reduce the Windows oddities, so I no
longer feel quite that way.

2. Python on Mac still feels a bit unfinished.
I installed Python on Win probably 3 or 4 years ago (mostly for CGI and
command line stuff), added a graphic toolkit about 2 years ago and had
basically no problems; about the same time I installed Rev and had a
couple of minor problems with the installation process - and significant
problems with the Windows bugs and incompatibilities (at the time -
they're better now).

Less than a year ago I got a Mac, installed Python and graphic toolkit
on it - and although it was 15 months later, it was not as clean an
install process and still doesn't look as though Python is fully "bedded
in" on Mac.  Rev on the other hand was entirely  smooth - confirmed what
I had long suspected :-)   Of course, that's unfair - by that time, Rev
was at 2.6 and the Windows problems had also gone away.

I'm not honestly sure today how to build a standalone on Mac (but then I
don't need to - I distribute a few app to friends with PCs, but don't
have anyone out there who wants them on Macs, so I've had no reason to
find out). On Windows, it is really easy - marginally more effort than
for Rev, but to make up for that I've had less trouble with differences
between development and standalone modes on Python than I had on Rev.

(And there isn't, afaik, a way to do cross-platform standalone builds in
Python - but I don't find that a disadvantage anyway, because I believe
you need to do testing on the target platform anyway, and so providing a
build/release environment there isn't a bad thing).

> When I get past the install and start describing actually programming  
> in Python, it should be better.
>
> In any case, feel free to have a look and post feedback, even if it's  
> just to point out where I went wrong in the Python install process ;-)

Will do.

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Re: Sort-of OT: Learning Python

Geoff Canyon

On May 5, 2006, at 2:25 AM, Alex Tweedly wrote:

> Before I go and read the blog, I'll take a wild guess that you're  
> on a Mac.

True, but most of the issues I saw were platform-independent. For  
example, the latest version of Boa Constructor is 0.4.4-Alpha. Is the  
alpha release stable? If I don't want to use an alpha release, it  
looks like I need to go back to 0.2.2. Everything since then (three  
years ago) has been an alpha release.

In any case, I'm passing on Boa Constructor. Next I'll look at SPE,  
Komodo, and Wing.

regards,

geoff
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Re: Sort-of OT: Learning Python

Judy Perry
In reply to this post by Alex Tweedly
FWIW, my husband is a devoted python user and he's not had any problems
with installing or using Python on a Mac in OS X (don't even know if OS 9
is possible...).

The only thing he's not been able to get going is PythonCard.

Judy

On Fri, 5 May 2006, Alex Tweedly wrote:
> Before I go and read the blog, I'll take a wild guess that you're on a
> Mac.  Why ?

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Re: Sort-of OT: Learning Python

xtalkprogrammer
In fact, I can't imagine anything easier than installing Python on  
Mac OS X. Just install the developemnt tools from your OSX CD. When  
you write a script and give it a .py extension, double-click it and  
if you didn't make any mistakes in the syntax, your application will  
be saved next to your script. Now try to compile an external for Rev ;-)

Best,

Mark

--

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Consultancy and Software Engineering
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Op 7-mei-2006, om 1:01 heeft Judy Perry het volgende geschreven:

> FWIW, my husband is a devoted python user and he's not had any  
> problems
> with installing or using Python on a Mac in OS X (don't even know  
> if OS 9
> is possible...).
>
> The only thing he's not been able to get going is PythonCard.
>
> Judy
>
> On Fri, 5 May 2006, Alex Tweedly wrote:
>> Before I go and read the blog, I'll take a wild guess that you're  
>> on a
>> Mac.  Why ?

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Kind regards,

Drs. Mark Schonewille

Economy-x-Talk Consultancy and Software Engineering
Homepage: http://economy-x-talk.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/xtalkprogrammer
Facebook: http://facebook.com/LiveCode.Beginner
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Re: Sort-of OT: Learning Python

Alex Tweedly
In reply to this post by Judy Perry
Judy Perry wrote:

>FWIW, my husband is a devoted python user and he's not had any problems
>with installing or using Python on a Mac in OS X (don't even know if OS 9
>is possible...).
>
>The only thing he's not been able to get going is PythonCard.
>
>  
>
What trouble did he have ?

Pythoncard used to be flaky on OSX, but it's pretty good now. Tell him
to ask on the pythoncard users list (
https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/pythoncard-users ) so I can
help him.

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Re: Sort-of OT: Learning Python

Dan Shafer-2
In reply to this post by Judy Perry
If he needs help getting PythonCard running, have him send me an email or
query Alex (who knows more about it than I do, I'm sure). The "trick" that
bites most people I know who've tried this is the way OS X by default
launches Python files in the IDE rather than with the PythonLauncher app
that installs with Python for OS X. Once you change the "launch with" for
.py and .pyw files, everything seems to fall into place. At least I've seen
that with a half-dozen folks.


On 5/6/06, Judy Perry <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> FWIW, my husband is a devoted python user and he's not had any problems
> with installing or using Python on a Mac in OS X (don't even know if OS 9
> is possible...).
>
> The only thing he's not been able to get going is PythonCard.
>
> Judy
>
> On Fri, 5 May 2006, Alex Tweedly wrote:
> > Before I go and read the blog, I'll take a wild guess that you're on a
> > Mac.  Why ?
>
> _______________________________________________
> use-revolution mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Please visit this url to subscribe, unsubscribe and manage your
> subscription preferences:
> http://lists.runrev.com/mailman/listinfo/use-revolution
>



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>From http://www.shafermediastore.com/tech_main.html
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Re: Sort-of OT: Learning Python

Geoff Canyon
In reply to this post by xtalkprogrammer

On May 6, 2006, at 4:37 PM, Mark Schonewille wrote:

> In fact, I can't imagine anything easier than installing Python on  
> Mac OS X. Just install the developemnt tools from your OSX CD. When  
> you write a script and give it a .py extension, double-click it and  
> if you didn't make any mistakes in the syntax, your application  
> will be saved next to your script. Now try to compile an external  
> for Rev ;-)

Double-clicking a .py file creates an application? So far (I'm not  
sure what all I've done to my at-one-time-standard installation) it  
just opens up in PythonIDE for me.

If you know of a set of instructions that get me from a standing  
start to building an application using wxPython, please tell me where  
they are.

regards,

Geoff
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Re: Sort-of OT: Learning Python

Geoff Canyon
In reply to this post by Judy Perry

On May 6, 2006, at 4:01 PM, Judy Perry wrote:

> FWIW, my husband is a devoted python user and he's not had any  
> problems
> with installing or using Python on a Mac in OS X (don't even know  
> if OS 9
> is possible...).

Is he building double-clickable graphical aqua apps? I can use  
Python. The confusion is in figuring out how to set up wxWidgets (or  
tkAqua), which GUI builder to use, which IDE, etc., etc.

In any case -- if he knows of a set of instructions to get from here  
to there, I'd love to know where they are.

gc
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Re: Sort-of OT: Learning Python

Judy Perry
In reply to this post by Alex Tweedly
Okay... Will probably do.

The last time we tried was more than a year ago.

On the to-do list...

Thanks!

Judy



On Sun, 7 May 2006, Alex Tweedly wrote:

> Judy Perry wrote:
> >The only thing he's not been able to get going is PythonCard.
> >
> What trouble did he have ?
>
> Pythoncard used to be flaky on OSX, but it's pretty good now. Tell him
> to ask on the pythoncard users list (
> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/pythoncard-users ) so I can
> help him.

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Re: Sort-of OT: Learning Python

Judy Perry
In reply to this post by Geoff Canyon
Ummm, unfortunately, the answer is no.

He's not the GUI touchy-feely type.  He's doing number-crunching stuff
(he's a statistician).

Whenever I try to talk to him about Rev and GUI stuff, he gets this
glazed-over expression.  You know, the 'stupid, useless, eyecandy/where's
my super-efficient command-line' sort of user ;-)

Sorry.

Judy
On Sat, 6 May 2006, Geoff Canyon wrote:

>
> On May 6, 2006, at 4:01 PM, Judy Perry wrote:
>
> Is he building double-clickable graphical aqua apps? I can use
> Python. The confusion is in figuring out how to set up wxWidgets (or
> tkAqua), which GUI builder to use, which IDE, etc., etc.
>
> In any case -- if he knows of a set of instructions to get from here
> to there, I'd love to know where they are.

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Re: Sort-of OT: Learning Python

rodneys
In reply to this post by Geoff Canyon
>Is he building double-clickable graphical aqua apps? I can use
>Python. The confusion is in figuring out how to set up wxWidgets (or
>tkAqua), which GUI builder to use, which IDE, etc., etc.
>
>In any case -- if he knows of a set of instructions to get from here
>to there, I'd love to know where they are.


Geoff,

Unfortunately, such instructions don't exist. I've been dabbling in
Python with intent to really dive in for a few years now. There is a
fairly friendly and helpful Python list for the Mac that can probably
help you. There is a wxPython list where people can help you. There
is also a PythonCard mailing list where people will help you. There
is no resource that I'm aware of that ties all of this together
nicely.

Also, while Bob Ippolito has done what seems like a fairly nice job
on py2app, the standalone builder for Mac Python, he seems to hold a
very low regard for readable documentation. He wrote the tool for
himself and makes it available for the good of the community. But,
people should just know how to make it work as far as I can tell. He
will answer questions, but the answers usually assume that you have a
sufficiently deep knowledge of Python to understand them. The problem
seems to be that Mac Python is an all volunteer effort and no one has
volunteered to write comprehensive documentation tying Python and
py2app together so that a real newbie has a good chance of
understanding it all. It is understandable that no one has written
the same documentation for the Mac for wxPython and PythonCard as
they aren't Mac specific.

The best approach, as far as I can tell is to first of all learn
Python. You do this by first installing Python 2.4.3 from the build
available at http://www.python.org/download/mac/. This page is a
basic page describing how to get started and why to install Python
rather than using the one built into OS X. Then, use any decent book
on Python to learn the language itself.

Next, I would learn to use py2app. Unfortunately, the only good
resource that I know for learning this tool is to join the MacPython
SIG mailing list -
http://www.python.org/community/sigs/current/pythonmac-sig. You will
get all the help you need there with a little asking.

Then, learn wxPython for developing GUI apps. You can probably do
this at the same time that you learn PythonCard. Again, join the
PythonCard mailing list and probably the wxPython mailing list for
help.

If you happen to find a resource that shows you how to create a
standalone hello world app in Python on the Mac, please post about it
here. I've never seen such a thing but would love to find one.

-Rodney
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Re: Sort-of OT: Learning Python

Alex Tweedly
Rodney Somerstein wrote:

> Also, while Bob Ippolito has done what seems like a fairly nice job on
> py2app, the standalone builder for Mac Python, he seems to hold a very
> low regard for readable documentation. He wrote the tool for himself
> and makes it available for the good of the community. But, people
> should just know how to make it work as far as I can tell. He will
> answer questions, but the answers usually assume that you have a
> sufficiently deep knowledge of Python to understand them. The problem
> seems to be that Mac Python is an all volunteer effort and no one has
> volunteered to write comprehensive documentation tying Python and
> py2app together so that a real newbie has a good chance of
> understanding it all. It is understandable that no one has written the
> same documentation for the Mac for wxPython and PythonCard as they
> aren't Mac specific.
>
> The best approach, as far as I can tell is to first of all learn
> Python. You do this by first installing Python 2.4.3 from the build
> available at http://www.python.org/download/mac/. This page is a basic
> page describing how to get started and why to install Python rather
> than using the one built into OS X. Then, use any decent book on
> Python to learn the language itself.
>
> Next, I would learn to use py2app. Unfortunately, the only good
> resource that I know for learning this tool is to join the MacPython
> SIG mailing list -
> http://www.python.org/community/sigs/current/pythonmac-sig. You will
> get all the help you need there with a little asking.
>
> Then, learn wxPython for developing GUI apps. You can probably do this
> at the same time that you learn PythonCard. Again, join the PythonCard
> mailing list and probably the wxPython mailing list for help.
>
> If you happen to find a resource that shows you how to create a
> standalone hello world app in Python on the Mac, please post about it
> here. I've never seen such a thing but would love to find one.

Good advice - but I'd switch the order around a bit - use PythonCard to
learn how to program in Python, I find an easy to use GUI much more
friendly for learning. And I'd leave py2app until later.

PythonCard comes with a tool (standaloneBuilder) which does a good job
of easing the problems of building distributable executables for Windows
and Linux. The Beta version of it is much improved to offer a choice of
tools - and the next step after that will be to add py2app support. So
it's not there today - but there is light at the end of the tunnel for a
GUI front-end to building distributables even on Mac.

And the relevance of all this to the Rev list ? To remind us how much
there is to be grateful for in having the ease of use and ease of
distribution provided by RunRev. Rev ain't perfect - but it does have a
lot of advantages.

--
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Re: Sort-of OT: Learning Python

Russ McBride-2
In reply to this post by Geoff Canyon

Hey Geoff,

Thanks for the link.  I always appreciate those kinds of posts.  I  
don't think I've heard a whole lot of great things about wxWidgets.

As a sidenote-- a lot of people who've used Python have moved to Ruby  
and a lot of people who've been stuck using Java have fallen in love  
with Ruby (me included).  Simple, powerful, clean syntax, great  
development community.  Truly a joy to program in.  My (long-term)  
goal is to be able to mix Transcript and Ruby in my runrev apps.  If  
anyone has any ideas or pointers about writing an external to do this  
I'm keenly interested!

Cheers,
russ



On May 4, 2006, at 5:30 PM, Geoff Canyon wrote:

> Those of you who know me know that I am always fascinated by  
> different programming languages. I've programmed in more than a  
> few, but read up on dozens. Lately I've been taking a stab at Python.
>
> I'm keeping track of progress at http://learningpython.wordpress.com/
>
> So far it's mostly gripes and rants ;-)
>
> The reason I say sort-of off topic is that I'm making no secret of  
> the fact that I come from a Revolution background. The latest post  
> compares the out-of-the-box experience between Rev and a Python  
> IDE. In Rev, installation and building a standalone application  
> takes 16 steps, including retrieving and entering the demo license  
> code. In Python, after 10 steps I have downloaded nothing,  
> installed nothing, and built nothing, have gone down a blind alley  
> or two, and have more questions than I started with.
>
> When I get past the install and start describing actually  
> programming in Python, it should be better.
>
> In any case, feel free to have a look and post feedback, even if  
> it's just to point out where I went wrong in the Python install  
> process ;-)
>
> regards,
>
> Geoff
> _______________________________________________
> use-revolution mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Please visit this url to subscribe, unsubscribe and manage your  
> subscription preferences:
> http://lists.runrev.com/mailman/listinfo/use-revolution



Russ McBride
Programmer/Analyst
The Scholar's Workstation
University of California at Berkeley
510-643-6853


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Re: Sort-of OT: Learning Python / Ruby

Alex Tweedly
Russ McBride wrote:

>
> Hey Geoff,
>
> Thanks for the link.  I always appreciate those kinds of posts.  I  
> don't think I've heard a whole lot of great things about wxWidgets.
>
Hmmm - how odd that we've heard such different things :-)

I believe that wxWidgets does a better job of producing GUI apps that
look and feel native to the platform than anything else I've seen or
used  (including Rev).  (of course, doesn't include OS9)

> As a sidenote-- a lot of people who've used Python have moved to Ruby  
> and a lot of people who've been stuck using Java have fallen in love  
> with Ruby (me included).  Simple, powerful, clean syntax, great  
> development community.  Truly a joy to program in.  My (long-term)  
> goal is to be able to mix Transcript and Ruby in my runrev apps.  If  
> anyone has any ideas or pointers about writing an external to do this  
> I'm keenly interested!
>
I'd be surprised if that was (practically) doable, in the traditional
sense of an external. You could certainly use what I called "remotes" -
i.e. socket-based communication from Rev GUI to a Ruby process - and the
overhead should be fairly small (you could even use UDP sockets and for
the most part ignore the possibility of packet loss, so getting very
minimal overhead). I've done that in a few cases (though using Python
rather than Ruby), and it has let me do projects that would have been
much harder in either one language than they were in the combination of
the two.

--
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Re: Sort-of OT: Learning Python

viktoras d.
In reply to this post by Russ McBride-2
By the way, I noticed on www.python.org that Python runs on Palm handhelds
and Nokia mobile phones. Are there any info on transcript executables
running on handhelds or phones. I think this would be (or is it already?) a
nice feature for Runtime Rev too!
 
Viktoras
 
-------Original Message-------
 
From: Russ McBride
Date: 05/09/06 02:14:33
To: How to use Revolution
Subject: Re: Sort-of OT: Learning Python
 
Hey Geoff,
 
Thanks for the link. I always appreciate those kinds of posts. I
don't think I've heard a whole lot of great things about wxWidgets.
 
As a sidenote-- a lot of people who've used Python have moved to Ruby
and a lot of people who've been stuck using Java have fallen in love
with Ruby (me included). Simple, powerful, clean syntax, great
development community. Truly a joy to program in. My (long-term)
goal is to be able to mix Transcript and Ruby in my runrev apps. If
anyone has any ideas or pointers about writing an external to do this
I'm keenly interested!
 
Cheers,
russ
 
 
 
On May 4, 2006, at 5:30 PM, Geoff Canyon wrote:
 

> Those of you who know me know that I am always fascinated by
> different programming languages. I've programmed in more than a
> few, but read up on dozens. Lately I've been taking a stab at Python.
>
> I'm keeping track of progress at http://learningpython.wordpress.com/ 
>
> So far it's mostly gripes and rants ;-)
>
> The reason I say sort-of off topic is that I'm making no secret of
> the fact that I come from a Revolution background. The latest post
> compares the out-of-the-box experience between Rev and a Python
> IDE. In Rev, installation and building a standalone application
> takes 16 steps, including retrieving and entering the demo license
> code. In Python, after 10 steps I have downloaded nothing,
> installed nothing, and built nothing, have gone down a blind alley
> or two, and have more questions than I started with.
>
> When I get past the install and start describing actually
> programming in Python, it should be better.
>
> In any case, feel free to have a look and post feedback, even if
> it's just to point out where I went wrong in the Python install
> process ;-)
>
> regards,
>
> Geoff
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Russ McBride
Programmer/Analyst
The Scholar's Workstation
University of California at Berkeley
510-643-6853
 
 
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