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Author Topic: Python 64bit vs 32bit, 3.2 or 2.7, ActivePython Eggs & PyPm = Confused  (Read 1828 times)
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« on: April 20, 2012, 07:58:53 AM »

I've been toying with Python for a few days now, and generally I'd say it is the sort of language that I am interested in learning, but there are certain issues that I'm struggling with...

1) I am running Win7 x64 - does that mean I should be running Python x64?
I assume that it means I have the option of running the 64bit version, but that I could opt for the 32bit if there were a good reason to do so.
I understand that a 64bit version will allow me to access more memory, but I don't think that will be an issue with the trivial programs that I am likely to write.

So are there any other advantages, and are there disadvantages of 64bit?

2) Initially I opted to use Python3 - since I am not tied to Python2 I figured "why not use the current / latest version". However it seems that most tutorials are tailored to Python2 and that certain libraries are not compatible with 3 (eg. PyGame)

Would I be advised to install Python2 for now and update in the future when everyone else does the same?!

3) Being a Windows user I am used to GUIs rather than CLIs. So far I've not found a package / library / egg manager with a graphical interface - does such a thing exist?

And on that subject - argh! Why is installing packages / libraries / eggs such a hassle! And why are there 3 names for these extensions?

4) I discovered that there are other distributions of Python available including ActivePython, which promised a nicer package installer - PyPm. So I installed AP and fired up PyPm where upon I discover that certain packages are only available to paying customers!

I can't see anything on the ActivePython site that explicitly says which packages are / are not available but it seems that 64bit addons are reserved for Business Edition customers only? Can anyone confirm this?

EDIT: OK I see it now - the PyPm homepage does discretely indicate that the 64bit builds are paid only.
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2012, 08:12:06 AM »

Would I be advised to install Python2 for now and update in the future when everyone else does the same?!

That is the conclusion that I reached.

I wonder if there are any other examples of such a major language update that has been such a failure in terms of adoption as Python3..  It's a pretty severe lesson about the power of backward compatibility and the cost to be paid if you deviate from it.
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