Monday, July 09, 2012

About Environment

In Python applications environment is often an ambiguous term that needs clarification. In general sense `the environment` is system environment with PATH and friends accessible from os.environ within Python. But in Python applications it can mean different things.

In Trac `the environment` is a directory with settings, database and other files related to one Trac site.

In SCons `the environmentis a structure in memory that holds dependency trees, helper functions, builders and other stuff. It is written to disk only for caching.

Quite many other applications have some kind of environment for their own purpose with meanings close to either Trac or SCons, which often confuses newbies or strangers who are not aware about the context. Software development clearly needs more specific terms in English to make people write and read in the same language without those excessive contexts.