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

Oscar Benjamin oscar.j.benjamin at gmail.com
Mon Jul 15 17:21:29 CEST 2013

On 15 July 2013 15:21, Paul Moore <p.f.moore at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 15 July 2013 15:16, Oscar Benjamin <oscar.j.benjamin at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I don't know if I really count as a normal user but I can describe how
>> Python is installed on the Windows machines in my faculty for
>> scientific use.
> Thanks, that's interesting.
> Do people typically write command-line Python scripts?

A lot of researchers would run their scripts in an IDE such as Spyder
(pre-installed by Enthought). This is the way that people are used to
working if they are more familiar with Matlab. It's a bad idea in may
ways but essentially rather than passing command line arguments a lot
of people will just edit the variables at the top of their script and
rerun it. Another method used is ipython which you can use to edit/run
your code in a semi-interactive/semi-manual manner using the magic
%edit command; this is similar to spyder.

We also have a number of Linux clusters that are used to farm out big
computational jobs and for this people do need to write proper command
line scripts and submit the jobs via ssh (using putty rather than a
real terminal) but they probably edit/test this code on the target

> If so, do they expect to be able to put them on PATH and run them?

Probably not. I think that most people make a folder full of scripts
and either run them from an IDE or cd into the folder and run them
there. Again this is basically how you would do it in Matlab. In
scientific work the end user is someone who spends a lot of time
writing quite small scripts that are often not really reusable and are
tied in some sense to a wider project.

I think that maybe 80% of the .py files I have written are command
line scripts under 100 lines that produce a single figure with
matplotlib. The majority of those scripts are tied to a LaTeX document
and invoked by a Makefile with e.g. 'python scripts/fig1.py
images/fig1.pdf'. Most of my colleagues would probably have a more
manual/interactive approach than me though.

> What command processor is typically used? Powershell or cmd?

I haven't seen anyone use Powershell but I assume that it is
installed. It's not on my machine but I use Console2/git-bash which
means that shebang lines already work for me. I do often see
(unfortunate) people using cmd.exe though.


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