I've just released the new 126.96.36.199 build of wxPython. This release has had some bugs fixed, some minor patches applied, and also incorporates the Google Summer of Code 2007 version of XRCed, and adds the Editra source code editor. More details can be found in the changes list. wxPython source and binaries for Windows, Mac OS X and Fedora can be downloaded from the download page. Binaries for Debian and Ubuntu i386 and amd64 architectures are available in the wxWidgets APT repository, see this wiki page for details.
NOTE: On Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) the Python 2.5 binaries of wxPython expect to be used with the user-installed version of MacPython, not the Apple installed version. A fix for this issue is being worked on for the next release. In the meantime you can either install MacPython 2.5.1 and adjust your paths so that that Python is used, or you can stick with Apple's Python and the wxPython 188.8.131.52 that comes with Leopard.
Last week on wxPython-users a user wrote about a particular GUI class and said that, "it looks really awful." Trying to get more details from the person about what is so bad about it only resulted in some confusion because he seems to really like the class and listed some nice features when asked, "in what way is it awful?" Well, as you can probably guess, it turns out that English is not his native language and he intended to say that the GUI class in question filled him with awe, or in other words, that it is "really awesome."
This got me to thinking about something that has probably crossed every computer scientist's mind at one time or another: It's too bad that our spoken and written word can't be passed through something like a syntax check, preprocessor, lint, or a compiler. Just think how many problems could be caught before the communications arrived at the listener's auditory or visual interface! If we could communicate person to person using something that is as clean and as structured as a programming language like Python then I think that there would be a lot less confusion in the world. If our spoken word would fail to compile if it is incorrectly spoken, and if it failed to run if the assumptions it was built upon were incorrect, or were not fully specified then when what is spoken does successfully execute then there would be a much higher level of comprehension at the receiving end, and a high level of trust that what was received was exactly what was intended to be said. Using a structured communication mechanism like a programming language would also allow for clear and unambiguous responses or acknowledgments that what was said was received by the listener, and understood.
There would still be bugs of course, since nobody is perfect. But I expect that if you look at the number of times that what you speak or write is misunderstood or misinterpreted, or even just ignored, and compare that to the number of bugs in your software that have made it out to the customers, then I think that for almost all of us there would be a huge difference in those numbers. So what do you think, can Python 4000 be a spoken language?
As mentioned before, my experiences with the new Mac haven't all been roses. There have been a few things that haven't worked out real great, and I've even had a few Grey Screens of Death (kernel panics.) I suppose that things like this happen on any computer system, but based on my prior experiences with Mac it kinda surprised me that there isn't a higher level of stability than what I've experienced. After all, this isn't Windows! I shouldn't need to have the "reboot" tool in my arsenal of troubleshooting aids. I have to admit though that if this had been a Windows box I probably would have needed to reboot at least a hundred times as much in the past few weeks than I actually have. But if it had been Linux it probably would have been about a tenth as many times.
However, stability issues aside, there are a few things that really bug me about the Mac and OS X experience, and that is what this article is about. I've been working off and on on this article for several weeks now. During that time I've added some things to the list, and also have removed several as I got used to them and was no longer able to gripe about them.
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