The trial was conducted using Python 2.2.1 which, at the time, was the latest stable release. This was built from source for Solaris 5.7 by Charles Wiles.
At the time of writing, Python's division behaviour is changing. The
current default is C-like:
1.0/3 returns a floating-point approximation of one-third (i.e.
0.3333333...). However when the Python version number reaches 3.0
it is its maintainer's intention to change the division operator to
behave more intuitively from a mathematical point of view:
will return the floating-point approximation. The old behaviour will
still be available using the
The new division behaviour is clearly more intuitive to physics
students, although it does hide some of the details of the internal
representation of numbers. It was decided that, as this was going to
become the default behaviour anyway and would certainly cause less
confusion, the new behaviour would be the default behaviour on the
trial system. All programs run through IDLEfork (see below) are passed
-Qnew flag, which implements the new division operator.