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Solving a newly installed application not running on Debian when you vaguely recall the app is Python

I'm using Debian Mint but all of this should also apply for Ubuntu and maybe even Mac OS X.

In my case i was installing QTodoTxt but the same debugging, and potentially solution, should apply to any application. They had a .deb package which i used to install it, and i was delighted— I wouldn't have to worry about handling dependencies myself. Indeed, it installed successfully and showed up with a nice icon in my application launcher. And launching it... did nothing.

Spotting and fixing problems caused by referencing the same object in memory

Here's a slightly simplified version of the code causing the problem— very slightly simplified; it really was about this short:

Python dictionary objects do not allow accessing of values with dot notation

Documenting this because it's the kind of frustrating mistake to solve that could drive someone away from Python entirely, yet it'll be a mistake i'll probably never make again and would be able to solve in seconds if i do.

A dictionary, or 'dict', must be accessed with bracket notation. Unlike JavaScript, dot notation is not an option for dicts.

This works:

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