cpython-withatomic / Mac / ReadMeOrSuffer

How to install Python 1.3 on your Macintosh

Even if you don't usually read readme files: please read at least the
first sections of this file, failure to do so will probably result in
an unuseable python system. If this warning is too late and you already
have an non-functional python: it is best to remove all traces and start
with a fresh distribution. Especially don't forget to remove the
"python preferences" file from the Preferences folder, and possibly
"PythonCore" from the Extensions folder.

If this is your first encounter with python: you definitely need the common
user documentation (common to all platforms). You can find this (in various
forms) on and

If you have a pre-system 7 macintosh: sorry, this release will not work
on your system. Too many sys7 features are used to make a sys6 python
easy to create. If you really want one: tell me, maybe I can be convinced.
Alternatively: get the sources, put in the necessary gestalt() and
compatability calls yourself and send me the results.

If you don't have enough memory: the sizes choosen are somewhat arbitrary.
Try lowering them and seeing whether the resulting python is still usable.
Note, however, that python running out of memory may result in your mac
freezing. I don't fully understand yet why the mac freezes instead of doing
something a little less drastic.

PowerPC Macintosh instructions

1. Remove older versions of "PythonCore" and "Python Preferences"
   from your system folder.
2. Run the MkPluginAliases applet. This will first ask you whether it should
   create an initial preferences file. Let it do so. Next, it will create a
   number of aliases in the PlugIns folder. If this fails in mysterious ways
   try using the applescript in the PlugIns folder to create the aliases.
   If that also fails: examine the script and create the aliases by hand
   (and tell me what you did to make either of these two fail:-).

3. To make sure any applets you create can find the common interpreter code
   you should move PythonCore to the Extensions folder (drop it on the
   System Folder and it will find its own way). Alternatively, you can
   make an alias called "PythonCore" in the Extensions folder and
   point it to the real PythonCore. You may want to start PythonPPC
   again at this point to check that you actually put the extension in
   the right place.

4. You're all set now. Continue with the common instructions.

68K Macintosh instructions

1. Remove old "Python Preferences" file from the Preferences folder, if you
   have one (the file, that is, not the folder:-).
2. Run Python68K. This will create an initial preferences file (after
   asking you if that's ok with you). Quit python.
3. Continue with the next section.

Common instructions

You should now have a functioning python. It is probably a good idea to run
"" from :Lib:test at this point, this should not give any errors.
Running is done by double-clicking it or dropping it onto the
Next, try "" from :Lib to create all .pyc files (but this isn't
really important).

PPC users have a couple of applets in the main folder they may want to try,
(68K users can use the corresponding scripts from the "scripts" folder):

- EditPythonPrefs allows you to edit the preferences file, to change the
  python home folder or modify the initial sys.path setting.
- RunLibScript allows you to run any script as __main__ after setting arguments,
  changing stdin/stdout/workdir, etc.
- For PPC only, mkapplet creates a python applet, a tiny application written
  in python. Drop a python source on it and out comes the application. More
  information can be found in the "Read me files" folder.
PPC users will see one more files in the python folder: PythonApplet. This is
the template for building applets, leave it alone.

Things to see

There are some readme files in the "Read me files" folder that may contain
useful information. Especially the Relnotes-1.3 file contains some interesting

The "scripts" folder has some sample scripts. Some are useful, some are just
interesting to look at to see how various things work. The MkDistr, mkapplet
and fullbuild scripts (plus the ones mentioned above) may help you to understand
how to use AppleEvents and various other toolboxes from python.

The Tools folder has all the (automatically generated) interfaces to toolboxes
available, and some simple test programs. See the scripts mentioned above for how
to use them. NOTE: the organization of the toolbox stuff is likely to change,
maybe even before the real 1.3 distribution. Until that time you will have to
use addpack or imp to import these files in your program.

The 'img' group of modules, which handles I/O of many different image formats
(not pict yet, sigh:-) is included, but without documentation. You can find
docs at (or somewhere around there).


Send bug reports, suggestions, contributions and fanmail to <>.
Be warned however that I'm pretty busy at the moment, so I may not always
respond immedeately.
Alternatively, you can try sending to comp.lang.python or,
but since I read the newsgroup, not the mailinglist, I may miss it there
(but other people may know quite a bit more than me anyway:-).

				Jack Jansen
				Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica
				Kruislaan 413
				1098 SJ  Amsterdam
				the Netherlands
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