[Tutor] Which computer operating system is best for Python developers?

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[Tutor] Which computer operating system is best for Python developers?

Tamar Osher
Hi.  I am still having trouble installing and using Python on my (new) Windows 7 computer, but I plan to contact Microsoft forums and see if they can help me, since this is a Windows problem and not a Python problem.

My question: For the future, what type of computer is best for Python developers?  Do all Python developers use some type of Unix computer?

I appreciate your feedback and look forward to hearing from you.  Thanks for your time.
 
From Your Friend: Tamar Osher
Email: [hidden email]






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Re: [Tutor] Which computer operating system is best for Python developers?

David Rock
* Tamar Osher <[hidden email]> [2012-02-22 19:00]:

>
> Hi.  I am still having trouble installing and using Python on my (new)
> Windows 7 computer, but I plan to contact Microsoft forums and see if
> they can help me, since this is a Windows problem and not a Python
> problem.
>
> My question: For the future, what type of computer is best for Python
> developers?  Do all Python developers use some type of Unix computer?
> I appreciate your feedback and look forward to hearing from you.
> Thanks for your time.
As always, the answer is "it depends."  If you plan on doing Win32
python programming, it doesn't make sense to use anything other than a
Windows system.  It is usually easier if you can develop on a system
that is similar to where your programs will run, but it is by no means a
requirement.  Your biggest challenge if developing on unlike systems,
will be using methods that might be OS-specific (os.fork() comes to
mind).  

As long as you keep things neutral, you shouldn't have huge issues.

--
David Rock
[hidden email]

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Re: [Tutor] Which computer operating system is best for Python developers?

Mark Lawrence
In reply to this post by Tamar Osher
On 23/02/2012 01:00, Tamar Osher wrote:

>
> Hi.  I am still having trouble installing and using Python on my (new) Windows 7 computer, but I plan to contact Microsoft forums and see if they can help me, since this is a Windows problem and not a Python problem.
>
> My question: For the future, what type of computer is best for Python developers?  Do all Python developers use some type of Unix computer?
> I appreciate your feedback and look forward to hearing from you.  Thanks for your time.
>
>> From Your Friend: Tamar Osher
> Email: [hidden email]
>
> _______________________________________________
> Tutor maillist  -  [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe or change subscription options:
> http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/tutor

I use Windows simply for the convenience and have never had a problem
that couldn't be solved.  I guess that some 40 years of industry
experience tells me that reading manuals before trying something tends
to save time in the long run.

--
Cheers.

Mark Lawrence.

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Re: [Tutor] Which computer operating system is best for Python developers?

Steven D'Aprano-8
In reply to this post by Tamar Osher
On Wed, Feb 22, 2012 at 07:00:57PM -0600, Tamar Osher wrote:
>
> Hi.  I am still having trouble installing and using Python on my (new) Windows 7 computer, but I plan to contact Microsoft forums and see if they can help me, since this is a Windows problem and not a Python problem.
>
> My question: For the future, what type of computer is best for Python developers?  Do all Python developers use some type of Unix computer?
> I appreciate your feedback and look forward to hearing from you.  Thanks for your time.

For sure, Linux is the best OS for development.

That doesn't mean that you can't develop on other OSes, or that Linux is
perfect, but generally speaking it is the simplest and easiest, at least
once you learn the Linux/Unix ways of thinking, or can memorize a few of
the most common commands you need to use.

And please don't read this as an attack on Windows, or Mac OS, or
whatever your favourite OS is. All OSes have their strengths and
weaknesses, and the range and quality of free development tools happens
to be one of Linux's biggest strength.

If you hang around on the python-dev mailing list, you will see that one
of Python's ongoing weaknesses is that the developers don't have enough
people able and willing to test Python under Windows and fix problems as
they occur. When you ask why, they tell you that it's because dealing
with Microsoft licencing is difficult, that the C compilers change too
often in backwards-incompatible ways, that they can't get people to do
testing, that in a thousand little ways it just isn't fun or easy to
develop Python on Windows. Or even develop *in* Python.

On my Linux system, I get Python pre-installed, plus a whole bunch of
programmers' editors, debugging tools, admin tools, etc. If they don't
come installed, they are usually one command away:

yum install name-of-package
aptitude install name-of-package

depending on whether you are using Red Hat based Linux, or Debian based
Linux. On Windows, every package needs to be installed by hand. If
there's a binary installer, I better hope it works on my system,
because compiling it myself is a PITA even if I had a C compiler, which
I don't.

On Windows, I have Notepad, which is a crap editor, WordPad, which isn't
designed for programming, or heavyweight IDEs that come with my
compiler. I would need to learn a whole new IDE for every language I
learn.

On Linux, I have half a dozen programmer's editors already available for
me. Even the feeblest, nano, is more powerful than Notepad. I just use
whatever tools I'm already used to using, and it just works:

http://blog.sanctum.geek.nz/series/unix-as-ide/

Unix/Linux is designed to be an development environment, rather than
having development be an optional extra. No suprises there: Linux
particularly, but also Unix back in the early days, was built by
programmers to scratch their own itch: they wanted a good development
environment, and so they built Unix to be a good development
environment.

With Windows and Mac OS, it is primarily designed as a desktop OS, with
development being a necessary evil rather than a design choice.

If you decide to shift from Windows to something else, you may find that
it's more work learning the new OS than it would have been to have just
stuck with what you know and learn to use it effectively.


--
Steven

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Re: [Tutor] Which computer operating system is best for Python developers?

Alan Gauld
In reply to this post by Tamar Osher
On 23/02/12 01:00, Tamar Osher wrote:
> Hi. I am still having trouble installing and using Python on my (new)
> Windows 7 computer, but I plan to contact Microsoft forums and see if
> they can help me, since this is a Windows problem and not a Python problem.

I doubt if you have any big issues.
You probably only need to set two environment variables that the latest
Pythion installers do not set for you. (I'm not sure why!)

> My question: For the future, what type of computer is best for Python
> developers? Do all Python developers use some type of Unix computer?


By no means, one of Pythons strengths is that the same code can run on
many OS. But as Steven has mentioned many developers use Linux because
GNU/Linux is designed as a developer's OS and comes with oodles of
tools. Most of those are available for Windows too but you have to go
find them, download them and install them.

I used Python on Windows for 11 years. I only switched to Linux full
time a year ago when Windows 7 became too expensive and I decided I
wasn't paying that much for an OS when a free alternative existed! But I
still have Python on my Win7 work's laptop. And I also have it on my 10
year old MacOS iBook. And the same python code runs on all of them...

So you don't need to switch OS, just tweak a couple of settings.
Go through the procedure I outlined in my previous mail and tell us how
you get on. It may be a reinstall of Python is needed, or it may just be
the two settings I mentioned above (PATH and PYTHONPATH)

One thing:
If you do a reinstall, download the ActiveState version rather
than the Python.org version. Active state tweak their Windows
version of Python to include a bunch of extra goodies for Windows
programmers.

--
Alan G
Author of the Learn to Program web site
http://www.alan-g.me.uk/

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Re: [Tutor] Which computer operating system is best for Python developers?

Tim Golden-4
On 23/02/2012 09:00, Alan Gauld wrote:
> By no means, one of Pythons strengths is that the same code can run on
> many OS. But as Steven has mentioned many developers use Linux because
> GNU/Linux is designed as a developer's OS and comes with oodles of
> tools. Most of those are available for Windows too but you have to go
> find them, download them and install them.

> One thing:
> If you do a reinstall, download the ActiveState version rather
> than the Python.org version. Active state tweak their Windows
> version of Python to include a bunch of extra goodies for Windows
> programmers.
>

Just seconding both of Alan's points here. I have been fruitfully
using Python on Windows for more than 12 years now and I am one of
the very few core developers who works in Windows (although sadly
lacking the time at the moment to contribute much). I develop
Python-based websites which run unaltered on my Win7 laptop, my
WinXP desktop, and whatever flavour of Linux my hosting provider
is using. (It could be RedHat or CentOS but I don't care because
it just works). You need to do a very small bit of initial
assumption-bashing to ensure that things will work across platforms,
but once that's done you never have to change anything again.

I also recommend the ActiveState distro. It sets Python up on the
PATH and adds pip in the right places. Both of those are easy
enough to do for yourself, but it's nice to have it done for
you.

TJG
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Re: [Tutor] Which computer operating system is best for Python developers?

Jugurtha Hadjar
In reply to this post by Tamar Osher
On 23/02/2012 02:00, Tamar Osher wrote:
> Hi.  I am still having trouble installing and using Python on my (new) Windows 7 computer, but I plan to contact Microsoft forums and see if they can help me, since this is a Windows problem and not a Python problem.
>
> My question: For the future, what type of computer is best for Python developers?  Do all Python developers use some type of Unix computer?
> I appreciate your feedback and look forward to hearing from you.  Thanks for your time.
>

That's actually a good question.

I am in Instrumentation Engineering (Electronics), and a lot of the
software is designed  to run only in Windows, or, the equivalent
software in Linux is more for hobbyists than for professionnals (Think
software for printed circuit boards), or, in the best case there are
versions that run on Linux, but they aren't as featured or updated as
the one that run on Windows.

So I work on Windows. I have both Python26 and Python32 installed
(Python26 for things like Numpy/SciPy).

I also installed VirtualBox and run Ubuntu 11.10. It's nice because most
of the software I use is on Windows, but I fire up the virtual machine
sometimes for programming stuff.

So it depends what you do and the software you use.

One last point: Having two versions of Python, here's what I did in
order to chose which version is used depending what I'm doing (If I'm
tinkering with Numpy, I must use Python26)


Python 2.6 is installed in C:\Python26
Python 3.2 is installed in C:\Python32

I added both paths to the Windows Environment Variables.

I created two .bat files named Python26.bat and Python32.bat, each one
in the respective directory.

The Python26.bat file contains the follwoing lines:

@echo off
C:\Python26\python.exe %1

And the Python32.bat file contains the follwoing lines:

@echo off
C:\Python32\python.exe %1


So, if I write "python26 test.py" in the command line, the script gets
"executed" by Python 2.6.
In the same way, if I write "python32 test.py", it gets executed by
Python 3.2..

Just a little thing to make my life easier.


PS: If you have any question regarding the setting of the Virtual Box to
run Ubuntu as a guest on Windows, feel free to ask for details. I'll be
glad to provide links and things like that.

--
~Jugurtha Hadjar,

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Re: [Tutor] Which computer operating system is best for Python developers?

Dave Angel-3
On 02/23/2012 10:23 AM, Jugurtha Hadjar wrote:

> <SNIP>
> One last point: Having two versions of Python, here's what I did in
> order to chose which version is used depending what I'm doing (If I'm
> tinkering with Numpy, I must use Python26)
>
>
> Python 2.6 is installed in C:\Python26
> Python 3.2 is installed in C:\Python32
>
> I added both paths to the Windows Environment Variables.
>
> I created two .bat files named Python26.bat and Python32.bat, each one
> in the respective directory.
>
> The Python26.bat file contains the follwoing lines:
>
> @echo off
> C:\Python26\python.exe %1
>
> And the Python32.bat file contains the follwoing lines:
>
> @echo off
> C:\Python32\python.exe %1
> <SNIP>

I'm not running Windows any more (except in a VirtualBox), but your
batch files could be improved:

Since you only have the one useful line in the batch file, just put the
@ on that line;  no need to turn off echo for the whole file, when the
file is one line.

And i forget whether it's  %*   or %$    but there is a substitution
string you can use to mean "all the arguments", rather than just taking
one.  Remember that sometimes people want to run python with multiple
arguments.

I also made a "bat" directory, and added it to the PATH.  Then you put
both those batch files, plus some others, into the bat directory.  That
assumes you'll keep finding more utilities you'd like to add to the path.

No biggie, just trying to help.  There are more complicated changes that
I used to do, which I won't mention here.

--

DaveA

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Re: [Tutor] Which computer operating system is best for Python developers?

Jugurtha Hadjar
On 23/02/2012 16:46, Dave Angel wrote:

> I'm not running Windows any more (except in a VirtualBox), but your
> batch files could be improved:
>
> Since you only have the one useful line in the batch file, just put
> the @ on that line;  no need to turn off echo for the whole file, when
> the file is one line.
>
> And i forget whether it's  %*   or %$    but there is a substitution
> string you can use to mean "all the arguments", rather than just
> taking one.  Remember that sometimes people want to run python with
> multiple arguments.
>
> I also made a "bat" directory, and added it to the PATH.  Then you put
> both those batch files, plus some others, into the bat directory.  
> That assumes you'll keep finding more utilities you'd like to add to
> the path.
>
> No biggie, just trying to help.  There are more complicated changes
> that I used to do, which I won't mention here.
>
> --
>
> DaveA

Hey, these are very neat ideas (especially the "bat" folder and the
arguments point) .. Thank you !

--
~Jugurtha Hadjar,

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Re: [Tutor] Which computer operating system is best for Python developers?

Mark Lawrence
In reply to this post by Jugurtha Hadjar
On 23/02/2012 15:23, Jugurtha Hadjar wrote:

> On 23/02/2012 02:00, Tamar Osher wrote:
>> Hi. I am still having trouble installing and using Python on my (new)
>> Windows 7 computer, but I plan to contact Microsoft forums and see if
>> they can help me, since this is a Windows problem and not a Python
>> problem.
>>
>> My question: For the future, what type of computer is best for Python
>> developers? Do all Python developers use some type of Unix computer?
>> I appreciate your feedback and look forward to hearing from you.
>> Thanks for your time.
>>
>
> That's actually a good question.
>
> I am in Instrumentation Engineering (Electronics), and a lot of the
> software is designed to run only in Windows, or, the equivalent software
> in Linux is more for hobbyists than for professionnals (Think software
> for printed circuit boards), or, in the best case there are versions
> that run on Linux, but they aren't as featured or updated as the one
> that run on Windows.
>
> So I work on Windows. I have both Python26 and Python32 installed
> (Python26 for things like Numpy/SciPy).
>
> I also installed VirtualBox and run Ubuntu 11.10. It's nice because most
> of the software I use is on Windows, but I fire up the virtual machine
> sometimes for programming stuff.
>
> So it depends what you do and the software you use.
>
> One last point: Having two versions of Python, here's what I did in
> order to chose which version is used depending what I'm doing (If I'm
> tinkering with Numpy, I must use Python26)
>
>
> Python 2.6 is installed in C:\Python26
> Python 3.2 is installed in C:\Python32
>
> I added both paths to the Windows Environment Variables.
>
> I created two .bat files named Python26.bat and Python32.bat, each one
> in the respective directory.
>
> The Python26.bat file contains the follwoing lines:
>
> @echo off
> C:\Python26\python.exe %1
>
> And the Python32.bat file contains the follwoing lines:
>
> @echo off
> C:\Python32\python.exe %1
>
>
> So, if I write "python26 test.py" in the command line, the script gets
> "executed" by Python 2.6.
> In the same way, if I write "python32 test.py", it gets executed by
> Python 3.2..
>
> Just a little thing to make my life easier.
>
>
> PS: If you have any question regarding the setting of the Virtual Box to
> run Ubuntu as a guest on Windows, feel free to ask for details. I'll be
> glad to provide links and things like that.
>

Have you seen pylauncher? https://bitbucket.org/vinay.sajip/pylauncher
Here's the background http://www.python.org/dev/peps/pep-0397/

--
Cheers.

Mark Lawrence.

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Re: [Tutor] Which computer operating system is best for Python developers?

Terry Carroll
In reply to this post by Tim Golden-4
(Re Python on Windows 7)

On Thu, 23 Feb 2012, Tim Golden wrote:

> On 23/02/2012 09:00, Alan Gauld wrote:
>
>> If you do a reinstall, download the ActiveState version rather
>> than the Python.org version.
>
> I also recommend the ActiveState distro.

I am going to "third" Alan's and Tim's recommendations of the Activestate
distribution; and further suggest that you use the 32-bit version, anod
not the 64-bit version, even if you have the 64-bit Windows 7.  Some
Python extensions are built only for 32-bit Python and will not work with
64-bit.

I recently ran into this on two modules; one was PIL and I cannot remember
the other.  The easy fix was to uninstall the 64-bit Python and install
32-bit in its place.

I'm referrng to Python 2.7 above.
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