[Distutils] Plans for binary wheels, and PyPi and OS-X

Chris Barker chris.barker at noaa.gov
Sat Nov 2 03:04:32 CET 2013

On Fri, Nov 1, 2013 at 5:45 PM, Nick Coghlan <ncoghlan at gmail.com> wrote:

> * the key relevant points about users on Windows and Mac OS X are that
> most (perhaps only many on Mac OS X) tutorials and introductory courses
> will direct them to the binary installers on python.org, and such users
> are highly unlikely to have a C compiler installed, so their current "out
> of the box" user experience with pip is that it doesn't work for even the
> simplest of C extensions.

Thank you for being so articulate about that -- I"ve been unsuccesfully
trying to say this this whole thread ....

Note also that it's not just what tutorials say, it's what the _should_
say. WE really wouldn't want to say to new users:

Want to learn to program in Python? First, install a compiler, which, by
the way is a multi-GB download from Apple, that you have to register as a
developer to get.....
Though I"ll also add that binaries for the python.org builds also support
users that may have  compiler, but not the expertise to build third-party
libs, and build re-distributable binaries for older OS versions, etc.

> * by contrast, in other *nix environments (including cygwin on Windows and
> homebrew etc on Mac OS X), using the system/environment Python is far more
> common, and a C compiler is far more likely to be available
indeed, required, for homebrew and macports (and cygwin?)

> * accordingly, the following defaults make sense for pip 1.5:
> - allow wheel files from the index server for Windows and Mac OS X
> - allow local wheel files everywhere
> sounds good. -- and have a stated policy )or at least recommendation) that
binary wheels for OS-X be built for the python.org pythons.

* the following options should also be available:
> - force use of wheel files from the index server (useful for private index
> servers)
> - prevent use of wheel files from the index server (useful to force local
> builds on Windows and Mac OS X)
> - prevent use of wheel files (useful to force a local rebuild, overwriting
> the wheel cache)
sounds good.

One question: should pip be able to install a incompatible binary wheel
directly without even a warning? It does now, but I don't think it should.



Christopher Barker, Ph.D.

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Chris.Barker at noaa.gov
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