Deploying Python 3 to the Homes of Children Everywhere (on macOS)
(This is an edited transcript of an SF Python lightning talk I gave.)
I’m the co-author of a book called Hello World!: Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners.
It’s an introductory programming book that uses Python, and it’s currently in its third edition.
Our book uses a lot of different Python modules to teach various programming concepts:
we introduce things like Pygame and PyQt to talk about different approaches to graphics,
and new in the Third Edition, we’re using the built-in
socket module and the
telnet command to teach network programming.
One of the unique challenges you run into when you write a kids’ book is how do you actually get all of this software—Python, IDLE, and all these modules—onto the kid’s computer?
Because the kind of people who buy our book are not necessarily going to be comfortable with computers themselves.
They’re not necessarily going to want to open up their console and use
pip to install different packages.
On Windows, we asked our friend Sean Cavanagh to create a “combo installer” that runs all of the official installers for Python, PyQt, Pygame, and so on, one after the other. This approach works really well on Windows; we don’t need to update it very frequently, and we receive very few reports of readers running into problems with this installer. (If you do run into a problem with the Windows installer, please email us at email@example.com.)
On macOS, the situation is a little bit more complicated.