[Distutils] numpy's distutils fork circa 2001

Robert Kern robert.kern at gmail.com
Fri Nov 30 00:06:44 CET 2012

On 29/11/2012 21:51, Alex Clark wrote:
> Is anyone familiar with this situation enough to comment on it, in a few
> sentences?

numpy-discussion would be a better mailing list for this question:


>  Based on:
> - https://github.com/numpy/numpy/commit/f1a2d6376c430f65550efa235209b86c1a0967e3
> It looks like:
> - Numpy forked distutils (2001) prior to setuptools existence/popularity (2004)

It's not a fork. It's just a set of extensions to distutils' functionality. 
setuptools doesn't really implement anything numpy.distutils does, so that's not 
really relevant.

> - As a result, SciPy users must now pay a terrible price (i.e. SciPy does not
> `install_requires` numpy as you might expect;  i suspect because it relies on
> numpy's distutils… which it can't rely on until it's installed… which it can't
> `install_requires` until it's installed…)

Yup. No real way around it until we have such metadata in a declarative, 
non-executable data file rather than executed code.

Robert Kern

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma
  that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had
  an underlying truth."
   -- Umberto Eco

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