Title: IDLE: system clear function returns 256 on Mac OS Catalina
Type: behavior Stage: resolved
Components: IDLE Versions: Python 3.8
Status: closed Resolution: duplicate
Dependencies: Superseder: IDLE - clear and restart the shell window
View: 6143
Assigned To: terry.reedy Nosy List: ned.deily, terry.reedy,
Priority: normal Keywords:

Created on 2019-12-27 18:15 by, last changed 2020-01-03 22:16 by terry.reedy. This issue is now closed.

Messages (3)
msg358908 - (view) Author: David Turner ( Date: 2019-12-27 18:15
Trying to set up shortcut function to clear screen but its not working as expected on my Mac OS Catalina -- below is txt from idle

import os
>>> cls= lambda: os.system('clear')
>>> cls()
msg359022 - (view) Author: Ned Deily (ned.deily) * (Python committer) Date: 2019-12-30 07:14
Unfortunately, this is not going to work as you expect because you are mixing commands for different windowing systems.  The OS-level 'clear' command is used to clear a normal terminal window by issuing special character sequences to standard output that are recognized by the terminal emulator, like for instance on macOS.  When you run commands using os.system() under IDLE on macOS, the standard output descriptor for the subprocess created by os.system is not handled by IDLE.  Currently open Issue11820 describes this problem.  You are apparently running (by launching the app from the Finder) and the command fails because standard output of the subprocess is not associated with a terminal window.  If, instead, you launched IDLE from a terminal window (in


and ran your test, you would see that the 'clear' clears the window, not the IDLE shell window (and now returns a status of 0), still not what you are looking for.

Even if Issue11820 is implemented such that the standard output from subprocesses are associated with the IDLE shell window, there would still be a problem in that the special character sequences sent by the 'clear' command would most likely not be recognized by the IDLE shell window or its underlying Tk widget, so using the OS 'clear' command still would not work.  A better solution is for IDLE to provide its own 'clear' command and that is the subject of open Issue6143, which this issue should probably be closed as a duplicate of.
msg359261 - (view) Author: Terry J. Reedy (terry.reedy) * (Python committer) Date: 2020-01-03 22:16
Among other problems, the patch for #11820 uses a unix-only tcl function. 

In non-shell editor and output windows, Select all (Control-A at least on windows) Delete (or Backspace, or Cut to clipboard, ^X on Windows) clears the window.  Delete does not work for the read-only history portion of the Shell, hence the request for a separate menu item.

However, if an editor window is open, one can still get a clean Shell by closing Shell and re-opening with Run => Shell or running the file being edited.
Date User Action Args
2020-01-03 22:16:03terry.reedysetstatus: open -> closed
title: IDLE Clear function returns 256 on Mac OS Catalina -> IDLE: system clear function returns 256 on Mac OS Catalina
superseder: IDLE - clear and restart the shell window
messages: + msg359261

resolution: duplicate
stage: resolved
2019-12-30 07:20:26ned.deilysetassignee: terry.reedy
components: + IDLE
2019-12-30 07:14:48ned.deilysetnosy: + ned.deily
messages: + msg359022
2019-12-27 19:47:57xtreaksetnosy: + terry.reedy
2019-12-27 18:15:59twister68@gmail.comcreate