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Noobie: Trying to install PTVS but can't

May 11, 2013 at 9:43 PM
I want to learn programming so installed VS2012 Express. Before getting started I looked around at what would be the best starting language and decided on python. Installed CPython. Downloaded PTVS Alpha VS2012, when I run the installer it says "Visual Studio 2012 must be installed". Found from an old post on the Facebook page that VS Express doesn't support plugins, I have to install VS Integrated shell, then install PTVS. So I downloaded Integrated Shell, ran its installer and it wouldn't install with the following errors:
"Microsoft Visual Studio Shell (Isolated) is required, but it is not installed on this computer. Please install it and retry"
"A matching Microsoft Visual Studio Shell (isolated) language pack is required, but is not installed on this computer ..." please install etc.
I thought the PTVS needed just integrated shell, and that integrated vs isolated is either or? Anyway I tried downloading the isolated shell installer and the MS download page for it just times out on the download request (after I've gone through all the forms etc).

What the heck do I need to do? Do I need to uninstall VS2012 Express and then run the 2012 Integrated Shell installer, then reinstall VS2012 Express? will that get rid of the error message about needing isolated shell? (Don't see why, those errors aren't related, but maybe that's a bug)
Someone please help this newbie to programming get started.
Thank you!
May 11, 2013 at 10:15 PM
Check out our installation page.

The trick with VS2012 shell is that there are two files to install. Both links are provided on that page. (VS2010 shell only had one. We don't know why they split it up, and we're looking at ways to make our own installer that contains all the pieces.)

There shouldn't be any need to uninstall Express, but let us know if you still can't get it working because it is possible that there will be conflicts that we don't know about.
May 12, 2013 at 3:32 AM
Wow thank you! The shells installed fine by default into the same directory as VS2012 Express and only took a minute or two each to install, so I think it reuses a lot of the same files which is nice. Now I can still run VS2012E when I graduate to C# or Visual Basic, but I can concurrently launch Visual Studio 2012 which launches the shell and I can start python just fine:
'3.3.1 (v3.3.1:d9893d13c628, Apr 6 2013, 20:30:21) [MSC v.1600 64 bit (AMD64)]'
13 years ago I knew perl, so I think I'll be able to learn this. Thank you for the quick help!
May 12, 2013 at 3:35 AM
I only installed Cpython3.3. If I now go and install a distro, so I can get more functionality, will it autodetect my new install? Should I uninstall CPython first?
May 12, 2013 at 3:42 AM
you don't need to uninstall your python before installing a distro [1].

see installation docs at:

[1] if you're installing Canopy from Enthought, there's currently an issue which they/we are working on regarding auto-detection. you can install activestate's python.
May 12, 2013 at 5:00 AM
Edited May 12, 2013 at 5:10 AM
Oh, thank you, I just needed to read farther down. As I'm playing with Python in Visual Studio's IDE I'm fast learning that most useful modules and code samples (and old books which is all I can afford) use Python 2.7. I think I'm going to change from Python 3.3 to Python 2.7. Two questions: once I set up my PATH to point to the new python2.7 dir, will VS just start working with it?
Also, if I do use 2.7, can I still use one of the distros?
Edit: wow installed 2.7, closed and open VS, and I can now access a 2.7 or 3.3 IDE. That's pretty clever! Now the question is how do I set my project to use version 2.7? I notice the syntax of the "hello world" .py app that opens appears to be in python3 and runs fine when I hit Start.
Edit: Found in Tools->Options->Python Tools -> Interpreter Options I can set my interpreter. Color me more impressed, this is pretty well integrated with VS.
My question about distros remains. Maybe I should poke around the distro sites, I bet they have versions for python2 or 3..
May 13, 2013 at 9:27 PM
To impress you even more (hopefully), you can change the interpreter for each project as well. Open Project->Properties and there's a list of the available interpreters.

(Beta will impress you yet again with some of the new functionality around this - Ptools is very excited too :) )

The only problem you may run into with the distros is that most assume you don't have any other copies of Python (of the same version) installed. If they overwrite the CPython registry settings then we may not detect all of them anymore. In the options page you mentioned you can add back any that stop being detected, though there's no guarantee that they'll be fine. It's safest to only have one copy of each Python version installed.

If you want to grab packages easily, but don't want an entire bundled distro, you'll want to install distribute. Quick instructions: download and run it as an administrator: python Then you can use C:\Python##\Scripts\easy_install.exe [package name] to install packages from PyPI.