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Switching to OS X, Obstacle 4: Python and friends

November 8, 2008

Obstacle 1: Where the heck is that button?
Obstacle 2: Switching between windows
Obstacle 3: Home/End buttons (Unsolved)
Obstacle 4: Python and friends

After getting my keyboard almost sorted out (if I just could find a terminal replacement that uses Cmd+Arrows I would be happy, I think. That OpenOffice is inconsistent I can probably live with) it’s time to install some software, of course starting with my main language, Python. Yes, Python 2.5 is included, but I don’t want to use the system python, because I may install things that mess things up. So I’d like a set of pythons under /opt/pythonX.Y/. So I dowload and compile python, right? Yes, but what compiler to use? Again, I would have needed a handy guide for Unix nerds that make the switch. Anyway, after asking on #python I was told to install XCode, and that I might have it on a CD. So I did, and installed it. Now I could compile Python.

And by sheer luck, I’d seen this post by Phillip just a couple of days before, so I got Python 2.4 and 2.5 compiled and running quite quickly. Funnily enough this version of 2.5 is 7% faster then the one shipped with OS X. I wonder why.

Denys has some instructions on how to install pyflakes and some other things, which seems shaky nowadays. Maybe it’s time to switch to PyLint? PyLint wasn’t easy to install either. The egg that exists for Python2.5 failed to install, so I downloaded and installed it from source instead. The dependencies logilab-common and logilab-astng did install with easy_install, though. I checked out one of the Plone projects I’m working on, and ran buildout on it. Again no problems. This Plone starts in 15 seconds on teh MacBook, it took 25 on my old machine, so there isn’t anything wrong with the performance anyway.

WingIDE installed effortlessly as well. Unfortunately it’s an X11 application, which is a bit annoying. The same goes for all the other open source GTK apps that are so popular and necessary, as GIMP, Inkscape etc. GTK+ just has come in a native version for OS X that doesn’t need X11, though, so maybe in a year things look up on that front.

Now it’s time to start using OS X seriously for a while, and then test Ubuntu 8.10 on the MacBook as well, and then it’s decision time.

(You can read what my decision was here.)


From → linux, mac, plone, python, ubuntu

  1. I am sure by now that you have learned about Fine / Macports. The former is generally more up-to-date, although it does not support variants (./configure –enable-xyz), but so far I have not run into any problems with this. When configuring you have the choice to allow it to install binary packages, or to configure and build everything from source. (Building from source is the only option on Macports). Both have excellent dependency support. Python 2.6 is in there already.

    Fink uses /sw as its prefix, so you can delete a Fink installation with a single command: rm -rf /sw

  2. I knew about MacPorts even before I bought a MacBook. 🙂 But thanks.

  3. chriss permalink

    I read your article with great interest! I found you side by googling for “mac use home button and end button” since i really don’t like the way osx handles this!
    Beside this drawback osx is still the operating system i use most. Just because on Ubuntu I don’t have Adobe products like Photoshop which i use a lot!
    I live in Germany but got a US Keyboard Layout so the cmd+` is working fine for me!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Switching to OS X, Obstacle 1: Where the heck is that button? « Lennart Regebro: Plone consulting
  2. Switching to OS X, Obstacle 2: Switching between windows « Lennart Regebro: Plone consulting
  3. Switching to OS X, Obstacle 3: Home/End buttons (Unsolved) « Lennart Regebro: Plone consulting

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