[Distutils] Current Python packaging status (from my point of view)

Chris Barker chris.barker at noaa.gov
Thu Nov 3 17:30:14 EDT 2016

On Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 2:34 AM, Paul Moore <p.f.moore at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 2 November 2016 at 23:08, Chris Barker <chris.barker at noaa.gov> wrote:
> > After all, you can use pip from within a conda environment just fine :-)
> In my experience (some time ago) doing so ended up with the "tangled
> mess of multiple systems" you mentioned.

well, yes, my experience too, as a of two years ago,  -- which is why I'm
taken the time make conda packages of all the pure python libs I need (and
now that there is conda-forge, it's not a huge lift)

> Conda can't uninstall
> something I installed with pip,

sure can't! -- though that's too much of a barrier -- it'll give you an
error, and then you use pip to uninstall it.

> and I have no obvious way of
> introspecting "which installer did I use to install X?" And if I pip
> uninstall something installed by conda, I break things. (Apologies if
> I misrepresent, it was a while ago, but I know I ended up deciding
> that I needed to keep a log of every package I installed and what I
> installed it with if I wanted to keep things straight...)
> Has that improved?

yes, it has -- and lots of folks seem to have it work fine for them, though
I"d say in more of a one-way street approach:

- create a conda environment
- install all the conda packages you need
- install all the pip packages you need.

you're done. And most conda packages of python packages are built
"properly" with pip-compatible meta data, so a pip install won't get
confused and think it needs to install a dependency that is already there.

then you  can export your environment to a yaml file that keeps track of
which packages are conda, and which pip, and you (and your users) can
re-create that environment reliably -- even on a different platform.

I'm not trying to complain, I don't have any particular expectation
> that conda "has to" support using pip on a conda installation. But I
> do want to make sure we're clear on what works and what doesn't.

I'm not the expert here --  honestly do try avoid mixing pip and conda --
but support for it has gotten a lot better.



Christopher Barker, Ph.D.

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Chris.Barker at noaa.gov
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