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Title: python scratchpad (IDLE)
Type: enhancement Stage:
Components: IDLE Versions:
Status: closed Resolution: rejected
Dependencies: Superseder:
Assigned To: kbk Nosy List: kbk, phr, terry.reedy
Priority: normal Keywords:

Created on 2005-10-14 14:38 by phr, last changed 2022-04-11 14:56 by admin. This issue is now closed.

Messages (3)
msg54645 - (view) Author: paul rubin (phr) Date: 2005-10-14 14:38
Lots of times I want to use Idle sort of like a
Mathematica notebook but for Python.  That is, I want
to enter some code and interactively run it, edit it,
run it some more, etc.  Then, at the end, I typically
don't want to save it.  It's like doing a calculation
on scratch paper and throwing away the paper after
finding the answer.

It's a bit of a pain to have to explicitly save such
code in a file, going through the whole file dialog,
after launching to a Python editor window.  Most word
processors will generate an automatic filename like
"Untitled", or "Untitled-1", "Untitled-2", etc., if
"Untitled" already exists.  That makes the dialog a bit
more streamlined.

It would be nice if this type of operation were easier
in IDLE.  I'm not sure of the exact best way.  Here are

1) Have a default filename ("Untitled-<number>.py" for
example) that saves to the user's home dir, or
home/.idle, or maybe some configurable place.  User
could click to confirm (that's probably the easiest) or
IDLE could display some kind of message (preferable)
that doesn't need user interaction.  IDLE has no status
bar right now so maybe it would need one in order to
display such a message conveniently.

I guess the message could be displayed in the Python
shell (by sending an appropriate print statement to the
subprocess) if the user saves by hitting F5 to run the

2) (this is perhaps questionable) The default place to
save the file could be in /tmp.  On hitting F5, the
Python shell would print a message noting that the file
was only in /tmp and hadn't been saved anyplace permanent. 
msg54646 - (view) Author: Kurt B. Kaiser (kbk) * (Python committer) Date: 2005-10-16 04:51
Logged In: YES 

You're breaking my heart.  Pick a file name (how about
reserving 'f'?) Select IDLE's autosave feature in the
Options dialog.  When you F5 a new edit window, and
the Source Must be Saved dialog comes up, hit enter,
type an 'f', hit enter.  Three keystrokes.  

Maybe sometime I'll remove the Source Must be Saved
dialog if IDLE is set to Autosave, then it would be two

The downside to implementing this is some poor soul
is going to lose significant work that he thought was
saved.  Guido wan't even very happy with Autosave,
though I love it.
msg259950 - (view) Author: Terry J. Reedy (terry.reedy) * (Python committer) Date: 2016-02-09 19:36
I have a 'scratch' file which I use often enough that it is nearly always in the recent files list.

On the other hand, many beginners do not think to do that, and Guido has said recently to design for beginners.  In #19042, I propose that there should be an option to autosave Untitled to .idlerc/, without associating the name with the Window.
Date User Action Args
2022-04-11 14:56:13adminsetgithub: 42484
2016-02-09 19:36:32terry.reedysetnosy: + terry.reedy
messages: + msg259950
2005-10-14 14:38:52phrcreate