On Thu, 21 Oct 2004 10:16:01 +0200, M.-A. Lemburg email@example.com wrote:
Maybe we should have this discussion on more general grounds: do we really want a fat Python distribution or should we focus more on making installation of third-party tools easier ?
Let me toss my .02 on this.
A lean distribution has one distinct feature: it not only allows, but _forces_ the programmer to make explicit choices about what extensions to use. Easy of installation from the network is not a big problem IMHO -- I particularly see no problem with downloading packages for my own development machine -- but *packaging for distribution* is much more important to allow for easy deployment. On the other hand, fat distributions tend to force people (consciously or not) to use only the standard library, if only to avoid problems when deploying the software, and even when the standard option is sub-optimal (MS JET is just one of many examples available).
In this sense, I think that there is a market for a lean Python distribution, and a market for a fat distribution. In this scenario, the standard Python distribution should be kept more-or-less as it is -- with some polish, of course, and perhaps including a few extra modules (maybe even Pysqlite?). But it would still be fairly small, comparing with other language distributions and commercial products.
The fat distribution (in my opinion) is a job for a commercial company. Perhaps someone as ActiveState could do it, or some of the commercial IDE makers. This distribution could include a bigger selection of modules and packages, including full client-server databsae engines, GUI libraries, UI designers, a report library -- the kind of stuff that makes the life of VB or Delphi programmers easier. The base language would still be the same, but the environment would be richer in features. Best for some developers, not so good for others.
In this scenario, more than one company could offer their own 'framework', built on Python and using a different selection of libraries. The main problem here is that market for such frameworks has reduced considerably over the past decade, partly due to Microsoft's nearly absolute dominance (In this sense, it was an admirable feat that Sun managed to go so far with Java). In economic terms, it's not as attractive as it was a few years back, which may explain why such offering is still to materialize.