[Distutils] GUI for Python package Management

Mark Sienkiewicz sienkiew at stsci.edu
Thu Jan 29 22:01:06 CET 2009

david.lyon at preisshare.net wrote:
>> I don't think that the missing of a gui is what is the problem today
>> for python. Package uninstall is something that bothers some (maybe a
>> lot) of users. 
> Yeah. Me too. Possibly made easier by having a GUI.

The biggest problem is that the installer does not save the information 
necessary to perform the uninstall.  A secondary problem is accounting 
for dependencies between packages.

A GUI does not help either of these problems.  If you can implement an 
uninstall in the GUI, you can implement it from the command line.

>> Another point is to have something like webstart for
>> java. If I understand how it works, running an application goes like
>> this: If you open an app and it depends on another package not
>> installed on your system java goes around and download the missing
>> modules for you (and stores them in a relative place to the package or
>> the user package dir) so the application can run. This would be cool
>> for python, the problem being that there is no security to guarantee
>> that those modules are not malicious in any way...
> I agree with that strongly.

I very much dislike things that automatically download and install 
software.  An automatic installer may find a different version of a 
supporting package every time I install software on another machine.

I keep careful track of what is installed on all my machines.  If the 
tool automatically installs any version other than the one I specified, 
then the tool is working _against_ me.  I don't need that.

Ideally, there would be a flag that says "if you can't find something, 
give me an error -- do not attempt to download/install anything".  But 
it would be helpful if it can tell me "Package xyzzy is missing, but you 
can get it from here:..."

Mark S.

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