[Distutils] Maintaining a curated set of Python packages

Chris Barker chris.barker at noaa.gov
Wed Dec 21 18:08:34 EST 2016

On Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 5:51 AM, Daniel Holth <dholth at gmail.com> wrote:

> One possibility to consider is that virtualenv itself is a bad idea. Why
> should the Python interpreter executable, rather than the program being
> run, determine the set of packages that is available for import?

well, way back when, som eof us suggestted that pyton have pacakge version
mangement built in to import:

import this_package>=2.1

or whatever.

At that time, the pyGTK and wxPython projects had done a role-your-own
version of this. wxPython's was:

import wxversion
import wx

kind a kludgy, but it worked.

However, Guido, among others was pretty adamant that this was NOT python's

Then, along came setuptools that kinda-sorta provided something like that,
and then virtualenv -- and the rest is history.

I now use conda, which provides environments that manage python itself,
other C libs, etc, and it works pretty well.

And there are utilities that let you run a script in a given environment:


(and maybe others)

So that does kinda pass the responsibility to the app.



Christopher Barker, Ph.D.

Emergency Response Division
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Chris.Barker at noaa.gov
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