Python and Windows 10

A number of Beginning Programming with Python For Dummies and Python for Data Science for Dummies readers have written to tell me that the installation instructions for Python in these two books don’t appear to work well with Windows 10. Unfortunately, Windows 10 wasn’t available during the writing of either book, but the operating system does seem to present problems for a number of people—not just developers. Microsoft’s enforced upgrades are just one source of woe. Of course, Windows 10 has its supporters as well who are trying to tell you not to worry about these issues. I’m not here to tell you whether you should use Windows 10 or not—that’s a topic for another post. However, I also understand you need a fix for the installation process for these two books if you are running Windows 10.

For the most part, all you really need to do is install Python 3.x for Beginning Programming with Python for Dummies and Anaconda for Python for Data Science for Dummies. The problem doesn’t appear to be the actual installation (given there are no error messages when the installation completes), but rather accessing the applications after the installation. To ensure you can access the applications, you need to be sure they’re part of the path. You may also need to open a command prompt to start the applications, rather than rely on a Start Menu entry to access them. Given that I don’t have Windows 10 installed and don’t plan to install it for now because I need to support the documented configurations for the books, the best I can do is direct you to a site where you can discover how to perform these tasks under Windows 10. The article I suggest is: Setting up your Windows 10 System for Python Development (PyDev, Eclipse, Python). You don’t need to setup Eclipse or do anything else fancy. Once you have Python installed, you should be ready to go.

My feeling is that Windows 10 is going to create more than a few problems for developers because the forced upgrades will mean that you can’t ever rely on your setup being stable. The moment you get one set of Microsoft induced problems fixed, the operating system will automatically download a new set to your machine. For this reason, I can’t recommend using Windows 10 for development purposes. You’ll be better served with Windows 7 or Windows 8, with Windows 7 being the optimal choice. It could be that I’m wrong on this issue and I do plan to explore it further, but for the moment, I’m not offering Windows 10 support directly. I’ll do what I can to get you up and running with your Windows 10 system, but I can’t guarantee results because my books haven’t been written with the vagaries of Windows 10 in mind. Please let me know about your book-specific questions and concerns at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com.