[Distutils] Beyond wheels 1.0: helping downstream, FHS and more

Chris Barker chris.barker at noaa.gov
Tue Apr 14 18:07:25 CEST 2015

On Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 8:41 AM, Nick Coghlan <ncoghlan at gmail.com> wrote:

> The main two language independent solutions I've identified for this
> general "user level package management" problem in the Fedora
> Environments & Stacks context
> (
> https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Env_and_Stacks/Projects/UserLevelPackageManagement
> )
> are conda (http://conda.pydata.org/) and Nix
> (https://nixos.org/nix/about.html),

cool -- I hadn't seem nix before.

> From a Python upstream perspective, Nix falls a long way behind conda
> due to the fact that Nix currently relies on Cygwin for Windows
> support -

The other thing that's nice about conda is that while it was designed for
the general case, it has a lot of python-specific features. Being a Python
guy -- I llke that ;-) -- it may not work nearly as well for Ruby or what
have you -- I wouldn't know.

>  The point where I draw the line is supporting *dynamic*
> linking between modules -

I'm confused -- you don't want a system to be able to install ONE version
of a lib that various python packages can all link to? That's really the
key use-case for me....

> that's the capability I view as defining the
> boundary between "enabling an add-on ecosystem for a programming
> language runtime" and "providing a comprehensive software development
> platform" :)

Well, with it's target audience being scientific programmers, conda IS
trying to give you a "comprehensive software development platform"

We're talking about Python here -- it's a development tool. It turns out
that for scientific development, pure python is simply not enough -- hence
the need for conda and friends.

I guess this is what it comes down to -- I'm all for adding a few features
to wheel -- it would be nice to be abel to pip install most of what I, and
people like me, need. But maybe it's not possible -- you can solve the
shared lib problem, and the scripts problem, and maybe the menu entires
problem, but eventually, you end up with "I want to use numba" -- and then
you need LLVM, etc. -- and pretty soon you are building a tool that
provides a "comprehensive software development platform". ;-)



Christopher Barker, Ph.D.

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Chris.Barker at noaa.gov
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