On Wed, 25 Mar 2020 at 11:43, Barry Scott <ba...@barrys-emacs.org> wrote:
> I think the reasoning is that the whole point of the py.exe is to avoid having
> users edit their PATH on Windows. And further the thinking goes that
> you do not need the alternatively named python programs.

The alternatively named programs have never been needed on Windows
because the issue that prompted needing them on Unix (system scripts
that referred to "/usr/bin/python" expecting to get Python 2) didn't
exist on Windows. The py launcher was introduced to support file
associations for .py[w] files, and to support shebangs. It became
common as a command line utility because it's convenient to not need
to edit PATH.

The relevant PEPs for the history are PEP 397 for the launcher and PEP
394 for the background on versioned names on Unix (although I'm not
sure all distros actually follow PEP 394...)

The only reason anyone has ever suggested versioned executables on
Windows is for Unix compatibility - the reasons they are needed on
Unix simply don't apply on Windows (at least not in my experience -
it's possible that some peoplehave workflows that need versioned
executables, rather than simply using absolute paths or the launcher).

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