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1.1 Getting and Installing MacPython

1.1 Getting and Installing MacPython

Mac OS X 10.3 comes with Python 2.3 pre-installed by Apple. This installation does not come with the IDE and other additions, however, so to get these you need to install the MacPython for Panther additions from the MacPython website,

For MacPython 2.4, or for any MacPython on earlier releases of Mac OS X, you need to install a full distribution from the same website.

What you get after installing is a number of things:

  • A MacPython-2.3 folder in your Applications folder. In here you find the PythonIDE Integrated Development Environment; PythonLauncher, which handles double-clicking Python scripts from the Finder; and the Package Manager.

  • A fairly standard Unix commandline Python interpreter in /usr/local/bin/python, but without the usual /usr/local/lib/python.

  • A framework /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework, where all the action really is, but which you usually do not have to be aware of.

To uninstall MacPython you can simply remove these three things.

If you use the ``additions'' installer to install on top of an existing Apple-Python you will not get the framework and the commandline interpreter, as they have been installed by Apple already, in /System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework and /usr/bin/python, respectively. You should in principle never modify or delete these, as they are Apple-controlled and may be used by Apple- or third-party software.

PythonIDE contains an Apple Help Viewer book called "MacPython Help" which you can access through its help menu. If you are completely new to Python you should start reading the IDE introduction in that document.

If you are familiar with Python on other Unix platforms you should read the section on running Python scripts from the Unix shell.

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