[Distutils] Handling the binary dependency management problem

Paul Moore p.f.moore at gmail.com
Tue Dec 3 10:22:59 CET 2013

On 3 December 2013 08:48, Nick Coghlan <ncoghlan at gmail.com> wrote:
> This means that one key reason I want to recommend it for the cases where it
> is a good fit (i.e. the scientific Python stack) is so we can explicitly
> advise *against* using it in other cases where it will just add complexity
> without adding value.
> Saying nothing is not an option, since people are already confused. Saying
> to never use it isn't an option either, since bootstrapping conda first *is*
> a substantially simpler cross-platform way to get up to date scientific
> Python software on to your system. The alternatives are platform specific
> and (at least in the Linux distro case) slower to get updates.

But you're not saying "use conda for the scientific Python stack".
You're saying to use it "when you have binary external dependencies"
which is a phrase that I (and I suspect many Windows users) don't
really understand and will take to mean "C extensions, or at least
ones that interface to another library, sich as pyyaml, lxml, ...)

Also, this presumes an either/or situation. What about someone who
just wants to use matplotlib to display a graph of some business data?
Is matplotlib part of "the scientific stack"? Should I use conda
*just* to get matplotlib in an otherwise wheel-based application? Or
how about a scientist that wants wxPython (to use Chris' example)?
Apparently the conda repo doesn't include wxPython, so do they need to
learn how to install pip into a conda environment? (Note that there's
no wxPython wheel, so this isn't a good example yet, but I'd hope it
will be in due course...)

Reducing confusion is good, I'm all for that. But we need to have a
clear picture of what we're saying before we can state it clearly...


More information about the Distutils-SIG mailing list