[IPython-user] Re: os.startfile -> infinite loop

Robert Kern rkern at ucsd.edu
Thu Sep 1 22:24:59 CDT 2005

Ryan Krauss wrote:
> Unfortunately as a win32 scipy user, I am kind of stuck with 2.3 for
> now.  I don't have the microsoft compiler, so I can't go to 2.4 and
> build from source.  (Every time the 2.4 win32 question comes up on the
> SciPy list it seems like the answer is not yet).

Well, John Hunter is building matplotlib binaries with mingw for 2.4
with this distutils patch:


Since scipy needs a FORTRAN compiler, preferably g77, the MS compiler
wouldn't help much anyways.

> So what would I need to do to get subprocess working in 2.3? 

Just drop in the file subprocess.py . Or use this installer:


> The main
> thing I need to do is open a file without waiting for any return.  The
> problem with popen is that python won't do anything else until I close
> the dvi viewer and opening and closing the viewer takes extra time so I
> would prefer not to do it.
> Is subprocess the best way to go for starting a process and not waiting
> for it to return?  The subprocess docs make it sound like it waits for
> the process to end.

You're probably right. On UNIX, I would add a "&" to the end of the
command string to specify that the process should background itself
(with shell=True of course). Does CMD.EXE (or whatever it's called these
days) have something similar?

Robert Kern
rkern at ucsd.edu

"In the fields of hell where the grass grows high
 Are the graves of dreams allowed to die."
  -- Richard Harter

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