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IDLE History

This file contains the release messages for previous IDLE releases.
As you read on you go back to the dark ages of IDLE's history.

What's New in IDLEfork 0.8.1?

*Release date: 22-Jul-2001*

- New tarball released as a result of the 'revitalisation' of the IDLEfork

- This release requires python 2.1 or better. Compatibility with earlier
  versions of python (especially ancient ones like 1.5x) is no longer a
  priority in IDLEfork development.

- This release is based on a merging of the earlier IDLE fork work with current
  cvs IDLE (post IDLE version 0.8), with some minor additional coding by Kurt
  B. Kaiser and Stephen M. Gava.

- This release is basically functional but also contains some known breakages,
  particularly with running things from the shell window. Also the debugger is
  not working, but I believe this was the case with the previous IDLE fork
  release (0.7.1) as well.

- This release is being made now to mark the point at which IDLEfork is 
  launching into a new stage of development. 

- IDLEfork CVS will now be branched to enable further development and
  exploration of the two "execution in a remote process" patches submitted by
  David Scherer (David's is currently in IDLEfork) and GvR, while stabilisation
  and development of less heavyweight improvements (like user customisation)
  can continue on the trunk.

What's New in IDLEfork 0.7.1?

*Release date: 15-Aug-2000*

- First project tarball released.

- This was the first release of IDLE fork, which at this stage was a
  combination of IDLE 0.5 and the VPython idle fork, with additional changes
  coded by David Scherer, Peter Schneider-Kamp and Nicholas Riley.

IDLEfork 0.7.1 - 29 May 2000

   David Scherer  <>

- This is a modification of the CVS version of IDLE 0.5, updated as of
  2000-03-09.  It is alpha software and might be unstable.  If it breaks, you
  get to keep both pieces.

- If you have problems or suggestions, you should either contact me or post to
  the list at (making it clear
  that you are using this modified version of IDLE).

- Changes:

  - The ExecBinding module, a replacement for ScriptBinding, executes programs
    in a separate process, piping standard I/O through an RPC mechanism to an
    OnDemandOutputWindow in IDLE.  It supports executing unnamed programs
    (through a temporary file).  It does not yet support debugging.

  - When running programs with ExecBinding, tracebacks will be clipped to
    exclude system modules.  If, however, a system module calls back into the
    user program, that part of the traceback will be shown.

  - The OnDemandOutputWindow class has been improved.  In particular, it now
    supports a readline() function used to implement user input, and a
    scroll_clear() operation which is used to hide the output of a previous run
    by scrolling it out of the window.

  - Startup behavior has been changed.  By default IDLE starts up with just a
    blank editor window, rather than an interactive window.  Opening a file in
    such a blank window replaces the (nonexistent) contents of that window
    instead of creating another window.  Because of the need to have a
    well-known port for the ExecBinding protocol, only one copy of IDLE can be
    running.  Additional invocations use the RPC mechanism to report their
    command line arguments to the copy already running.

  - The menus have been reorganized.  In particular, the excessively large
    'edit' menu has been split up into 'edit', 'format', and 'run'.

  - 'Python Documentation' now works on Windows, if the win32api module is

  - A few key bindings have been changed: F1 now loads Python Documentation
    instead of the IDLE help; shift-TAB is now a synonym for unindent.

- New modules:         Executes program through loader              Bootstraps user program            RPC protocol              User-process interpreter               OS-specific code to start programs

- Files modified:          ( bindings tweaked )            ( menus reorganized )
  config.txt             ( execbinding enabled )        ( new menus, fixed 'Python Documentation' )            ( hook for "open in same window" )     ( bindings tweaked )
  idle.bat               ( removed absolute pathname )
  idle.pyw               ( weird bug due to import with same name? )           ( open in same window, EOL convention )             ( bindings tweaked )        ( readline, scroll_clear, etc )             ( changed startup behavior )
  readme.txt             ( <Recursion on file with id=1234567> )

IDLE 0.5 - February 2000 - Release Notes

This is an early release of IDLE, my own attempt at a Tkinter-based
IDE for Python.

(For a more detailed change log, see the file ChangeLog.)


IDLE has the following features:

- coded in 100% pure Python, using the Tkinter GUI toolkit (i.e. Tcl/Tk)

- cross-platform: works on Windows and Unix (on the Mac, there are
currently problems with Tcl/Tk)

- multi-window text editor with multiple undo, Python colorizing
and many other features, e.g. smart indent and call tips

- Python shell window (a.k.a. interactive interpreter)

- debugger (not complete, but you can set breakpoints, view  and step)


The main program is in the file ""; on Unix, you should be able
to run it by typing "./" to your shell.  On Windows, you can
run it by double-clicking it; you can use idle.pyw to avoid popping up
a DOS console.  If you want to pass command line arguments on Windows,
use the batch file idle.bat.

Command line arguments: files passed on the command line are executed,
not opened for editing, unless you give the -e command line option.
Try "./ -h" to see other command line options.

IDLE requires Python 1.5.2, so it is currently only usable with a
Python 1.5.2 distribution.  (An older version of IDLE is distributed
with Python 1.5.2; you can drop this version on top of it.)


IDLE is covered by the standard Python copyright notice

New in IDLE 0.5 (2/15/2000)

Tons of stuff, much of it contributed by Tim Peters and Mark Hammond:

- Status bar, displaying current line/column (Moshe Zadka).

- Better stack viewer, using tree widget.  (XXX Only used by Stack
Viewer menu, not by the debugger.)

- Format paragraph now recognizes Python block comments and reformats
them correctly (MH)

- New version of parses top-level functions and understands
much more of Python's syntax; this is reflected in the class and path
browsers (TP)

- Much better auto-indent; knows how to indent the insides of
multi-line statements (TP)

- Call tip window pops up when you type the name of a known function
followed by an open parenthesis.  Hit ESC or click elsewhere in the
window to close the tip window (MH)

- Comment out region now inserts ## to make it stand out more (TP)

- New path and class browsers based on a tree widget that looks
familiar to Windows users

- Reworked script running commands to be more intuitive: I/O now
always goes to the *Python Shell* window, and raw_input() works
correctly.  You use F5 to import/reload a module: this adds the module
name to the __main__ namespace.  You use Control-F5 to run a script:
this runs the script *in* the __main__ namespace.  The latter also
sets sys.argv[] to the script name

New in IDLE 0.4 (4/7/99)

Most important change: a new menu entry "File -> Path browser", shows
a 4-column hierarchical browser which lets you browse sys.path,
directories, modules, and classes.  Yes, it's a superset of the Class
browser menu entry.  There's also a new internal module,, which provides the framework for this dialog.

New in IDLE 0.3 (2/17/99)

Most important changes:

- Enabled support for running a module, with or without the debugger.
Output goes to a new window.  Pressing F5 in a module is effectively a
reload of that module; Control-F5 loads it under the debugger.

- Re-enable tearing off the Windows menu, and make a torn-off Windows
menu update itself whenever a window is opened or closed.

- Menu items can now be have a checkbox (when the menu label starts
with "!"); use this for the Debugger and "Auto-open stack viewer"
(was: JIT stack viewer) menu items.

- Added a Quit button to the Debugger API.

- The current directory is explicitly inserted into sys.path.

- Fix the debugger (when using Python 1.5.2b2) to use canonical
filenames for breakpoints, so these actually work.  (There's still a
lot of work to be done to the management of breakpoints in the
debugger though.)

- Closing a window that is still colorizing now actually works.

- Allow dragging of the separator between the two list boxes in the
class browser.

- Bind ESC to "close window" of the debugger, stack viewer and class
browser.  It removes the selection highlighting in regular text
windows.  (These are standard Windows conventions.)

New in IDLE 0.2 (1/8/99)

Lots of changes; here are the highlights:


- You can now write and configure your own IDLE extension modules; see

File menu:

The command to open the Python shell window is now in the File menu.

Edit menu:

New Find dialog with more options; replace dialog; find in files dialog.

Commands to tabify or untabify a region.

Command to format a paragraph.

Debug menu:

JIT (Just-In-Time) stack viewer toggle -- if set, the stack viewer
automaticall pops up when you get a traceback.

Windows menu:

Zoom height -- make the window full height.

Help menu:

The help text now show up in a regular window so you can search and
even edit it if you like.

IDLE 0.1 was distributed with the Python 1.5.2b1 release on 12/22/98.