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Macintosh Downloads

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Mac downloads for VPython 6

First, download and install Python-2.7.6 from python.org. Ctrl-click the Python.mpkg icon and choose Open (that is, press the Ctrl key while you click). If asked, then click the Open button. After installation, drag the installer folder from the Desktop to the Trash.

Second, install VPython-Mac-Py2.7-6.05
This version of VPython requires Python 2.7.x from python.org. VPython will not work with the version of Python 2.7 that is part of the standard OSX, nor will it work with versions of Python other than the one from python.org. Ctrl-click the VPython-Mac-Py2.7-6.05.pkg icon and choose Open. If asked, then click the Open button. After installation, drag the installer folder from the Desktop to the Trash.

Third, install Active Tcl 8.6.1
Ctrl-click the ActiveTcl-8.6.pkg icon and choose Open. If asked, then click the Open button. When asked where to install, choose your computer disk. After installation, drag the installer folder from the Desktop to the Trash. This repairs a problem with the Tcl library needed by Python.

These are "universal" installers for 32-bit and 64-bit Macintosh computers, usable with OSX 10.6 or later.

If you are using the Enthought version of Python 2.7 on a Macintosh, you can use VPython-Mac-Enthought7.3-6.04.dmg.

If you have VPython 5 installed, you need to delete the old folders visual, vis, and vidle from
   /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7/site-packages

There is an older VPython 5.74 for Python 3.2.

How to run VPython

  • In /Applications, doubleclick VIDLE-Py2.7. Do not use the Python IDLE editor with VPython 6.

  • On the File menu choose Open and choose an example program -- for example, bounce2.py.

  • Press F5 to run, or use the Run menu. (Depending on preferences, you may need to press fn-F5.)

  • Every time you run, your files are automatically saved (if you have changed them).

  • Choose VPython on the Help menu for documentation.

  • Right button drag to rotate the "camera" to view a 3D scene.
       On a one-button mouse, right is Command + mouse.
    Middle button to drag up or down to zoom in or out.
       On a two-button mouse, middle is left + right.
       On a one-button mouse, middle is Option + mouse.


Compatibility with the future and the past

We encourage you to place the following statement at the start of your programs, in order that your program will run not only on Python 2.7 today, but also will run in the future on the newer Python 3.x series. Note the double underscore before "future" and the double underscore after "future".

from __future__ import print_function, division

For Python 2.7, this statement invokes the new Python 3.x print format, namely "print(x)" instead of the old "print x", and the new division scheme, namely that 3/4 is 0.75, not zero as in the past. This statement is ignored by Python 3.x.

Changes from VPython 5: With VPython 6 you must include a rate statement in animation loops, and you must import visual or vis before importing graph or controls or filedialog.

Conditions of use

The Polygon module distributed with VPython may not be used except with VPython. Here's why:

In support of the text and extrusion objects, the Windows installer includes some modules that include Polygon, for which the following conditions apply: "Polygon is being distributed subject to the following conditions: This distribution contains code from the GPC Library, and/or code resulting from the use of the GPC Library. This usage has been authorized by The University of Manchester, on the understanding that the GPC-related features are used only in the context of this distribution. It is not permitted to extract the GPC code from the distribution as the basis for commercial exploitation, unless a GPC Commercial Use Licence is obtained from The University of Manchester, contact: http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~toby/gpc/".

What is installed

The VPython installer installs the vis, visual, and visual_common modules, the numpy, FontTools, Polygon, and ttfquery modules needed by VPython, and VIDLE, an improved version of the IDLE program editor, in /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7/site-packages.
A shortcut to VIDLE is placed in /Applications/VPython-Py2.7.

Materials such as wood

Materials such as wood will work with graphics cards that support Pixel Shader 3.0 ("PS 3.0"). See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixel_shader#Hardware. Some materials may work with graphics cards that support PS 2.0, but other materials may need to be manually disabled: in the Finder, click the icon for your hard drive and follow the path Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7/vis. In that folder, edit the file site-settings.py to disable shaders. If the graphics hardware does not support pixel shaders, the material property is ignored. If you think you should be able to use materials but have trouble with their display or performance, we highly recommend upgrading your video card drivers to the latest version.

Python 3

It is currently not feasible to run VPython 6 on Python 3, though it is hoped that this will be possible in the future. If you must use Python 3, you can use an older version 5.74 of VPython:

First, download and install the pure 32-bit Python, Python-3.2.3 from python.org
Second, download and install VPython-Mac-Py3.2-5.74

Older versions of VPython are available

Fink distribution: At http://www.finkproject.org you will find many open source packages for the Mac, including http://pdb.finkproject.org/pdb/package.php/visual-py27 which is a Fink package corresponding to VPython 5.40. Fink packages use the X11 window manager and are Unix-oriented, so the look and feel is different from native Mac applications.

VPython for the older PowerPC Macs

Steve Spicklemire has built VPython 5.32 for PPC Macs.