[Distutils] Expectations on how pip needs to change for Python 3.4

Paul Moore p.f.moore at gmail.com
Sat Jul 13 21:59:44 CEST 2013

On 13 July 2013 19:24, Donald Stufft <donald at stufft.io> wrote:

> 2. This sounds like something that needs fixed on Windows. Even if you say
> ``-m`` for pip then things are still broken by default for any other
> package on PyPI that installs a script. So this feels like something wrong
> with Python on windows not wrong with the script approach.

It is, and it should be fixed. But in many years, nobody has managed to
come up with an acceptable solution. The debates seem to be largely around
what happens if you install multiple versions of Python and then remove
some of them, and how badly your system PATH gets messed up by this. I
don't know how many people actually do things like that, but nevertheless
it's never been sorted out. (Not all of the arguments are trivial, either,
there are some genuinely difficult issues to resolve, IIRC).

Ultimately, I guess there are a few options:
* Accept that Windows is a problem in this regard, but don't worry about it
- install executable wrappers/scripts and let the user deal with path
* Promote "python -m pip" as a least common denominator approach, and
mildly irritate people who don't use Windows (they can still use the
commands, but the docs look odd to them).
* Only provide "python -m pip" and seriously annoy people who don't use
* Document the difference, which implies either a certain level of
repetitious "pip install (or py -m pip install on Windows)" type of thing,
or a high level "For Windows, the pip command is not available directly,
you should use ``python -m pip`` in its place (or wrap this in the shell if
you prefer)" which people may miss.

It would be nice to get feedback from "normal users" on this. I suspect
that the scientific community would make a good cross-section (AIUI there's
quite a lot of Windows use, and for many people in the community Python is
very much a tool, rather than a way of life :-)). Does anyone have links
into the scipy groups? I lurk on the IPython lists, so I could ask there,
at a pinch...

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