[GRASS-dev] Re: diff to start wingrass with GUI + com.exe terminal [was: Re: [winGRASS] (no subject)]

Glynn Clements glynn at gclements.plus.com
Tue May 22 14:50:43 EDT 2007

Hamish wrote:

> Glynn:
> > Personally, I would favour switching to Python.
> If we forget about MSys C:/> path pain for a minute, and assume the
> GRASS terminal will not be exposed to the user by default, does it
> really matter if the backend interpreter to a script is Python or some
> flavour of sh?

The main advantages of Python over Bourne shell are:

1. Python is more portable.

Windows ports of bash (etc) try to maintain compatibility with Unix at
the expense of compatibility with the system on which they are
actually running. Also, shell scripts typically require various
additional programs for functionality which is missing from the shell
(sed, awk, etc).

2. Python is a substantially better programming language.

Historically, the use of the Bourne shell has been for the sole reason
that it is always available. But that's only true on Unix. Once it
loses that that advantage, it has nothing else in its favour.

> Is a full python interpreter needed for the wxPython GUI? (so we can
> rely on python already being there?)
> Tcl/Tk is still optional. With Python replacing sh for housekeeping
> scripts, Python would become mandatory.

As it stands, a Bourne shell is mandatory, as are all of the utilities
which the scripts require.

Also, bear in mind that a GUI (and thus the language in which it is
written) is likely to become rather less optional in 7.x when the
interactive functionality is removed from the display architecture.

Glynn Clements <glynn at gclements.plus.com>

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