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Title: Make IDLE Start Menu entry more descriptive
Type: enhancement Stage: needs patch
Components: IDLE, Installation, Windows Versions: Python 3.10
Status: open Resolution:
Dependencies: Superseder:
Assigned To: terry.reedy Nosy List: epaine, eryksun, ned.deily, paul.moore, steve.dower, terry.reedy, tim.golden, zach.ware
Priority: normal Keywords:

Created on 2020-10-02 09:56 by terry.reedy, last changed 2022-04-11 14:59 by admin.

Messages (3)
msg377805 - (view) Author: Terry J. Reedy (terry.reedy) * (Python committer) Date: 2020-10-02 09:56
A current python-list thread "Problem" is about the difficulties beginners have getting started immediately after installation.  I believe it started with another beginner asking about getting the modify/repair note.  One other thing that came up is that "IDLE", by itself, means nothing to someone who does not know what it is.  So one suggestion was to replace the current
  IDLE (Python 3.9 64 bit)
with something more descriptive.

The current longest entry is
  Python 3.9 Module Docs (64-bit)
which appears to be about as long as possible that fits in the space allowed without being truncated with ... (like "Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express").  (The font is proportional, I believe, so a char count does not give an exact measure.)

I propose a new entry for IDLE that is slightly shorter that the apparent maximum.
  IDLE Shell-Editor (3.9 64-bit)

The menu entry is also the initial filename for a desktop shortcut.  For me, after editing is complete, it displays as either

(inactive, 2 lines only) or

(3.9 64-bit)
(active, full 3 lines)

I checked that the future '3.10' will not cause a problem.
The popup shortcut comment
"Launches IDLE, the interactive environment for Python 3.9."
nicely complements the proposed title, tying 'IDLE' to 'Python'.
For a taskbar icon, the menu entry is the popup description.

macOS: The equivalent of 'Python 3.9' on the start menu is the 'Python 3.9' folder in Finder.  The equivalent of the 'IDLE (Python 3.9 64 bit)' entry is the Python app icon labelled simply 'IDLE' for the startup file. Ned, what would you think of the longer name "IDLE'?  (And maybe add 3.9 somewhere -- I have 3.8 and 3.9 loaded and on the (taskbar) I only know which is which by position.)
msg377818 - (view) Author: E. Paine (epaine) * Date: 2020-10-02 16:15
Do we need to include the bitness (IDLE doesn't care)? On Windows, it will also be included in the Python start-menu folder, so maybe we should consider moving the bitness to the folder title (so the folder becomes "Python 3.8 64-bit")?

However, I also want to propose something a little more controversial: do we really need to have the word "IDLE" in the entry? The example that comes to mind immediately is Nautilus (a GNOME application), which in all graphical places (like the menu) is referred to simply as "Files". Internally and on the CLI it is known by Nautilus but, similar to "IDLE", seeing a menu entry for Nautilus wouldn't mean anything to a beginner.

On Windows, we could go for something, like
  Shell-Editor (3.9 64-bit)
Once in IDLE, we can use that name (and obviously internally), but from the outside I propose we avoid using it (this would also affect the right-click entry, for example).

I think this could cause more confusion than it avoids, but wanted to put the idea out there.
msg377844 - (view) Author: Eryk Sun (eryksun) * (Python triager) Date: 2020-10-03 00:34
> maybe we should consider moving the bitness to the folder title 
> (so the folder becomes "Python 3.8 64-bit")?

Splitting up the start-menu entries into separate "Python 3.9 (32-bit)" and "Python 3.9 (64-bit)" folders would reduce clutter in the folder when browsing the start menu. But the link names have to retain the bitness. If you type "idle" in the start menu, all you get is the link name, not the folder context, so the link name has to distinguish 32-bit vs 64-bit. Also, link names without bitness are already used by the Python store app distribution.

> On Windows, we could go for something, like
> Shell-Editor (3.9 64-bit)

Then searching for "idle" no longer works, which may be a practical trade-off considering novices are probably unfamiliar with IDLE.

With or without "IDLE" in the name, this only works well for novices that browse the start menu. It's not discoverable if the user just taps the WIN key and types "python". That search will return links to python.exe, which uses a system console session instead of the IDLE shell. If IDLE should be preferred, then maybe the name should be "Python 3.9 Shell+Editor (64-bit)".
Date User Action Args
2022-04-11 14:59:36adminsetgithub: 86074
2020-10-03 00:34:52eryksunsetnosy: + eryksun
messages: + msg377844
2020-10-02 16:15:28epainesetnosy: + epaine
messages: + msg377818
2020-10-02 09:56:26terry.reedycreate