[Image-SIG] Please help... I'm desperate

Christopher Barker Chris.Barker at noaa.gov
Fri Jun 20 01:55:18 CEST 2008

Bill Janssen wrote:
> We just answered this on this list a few weeks ago.

yes, it was.

>  This is not an OS X "problem".

Well, yes and no. If you think of OS-X as the whole ecosystem 
surrounding it, then yes, it is an OS-X problem -- the problem is that 
that there are very many ways to build and install python and the 
various dependencies and packages on OS-X, and they are often incompatible.

This is caused (at least somewhat) by the nature of OS-X itself:
  1) It does things just enough differently than other *nix systems, so 
people have to roll a new version (fink, macports, etc)
  2) it now available for two different architectures with "universal" 
binaries as an option.

> You do not need to install a different Python.
> Installing PIL from pythonmac.org may or may not help;

Actually it pretty much always will help, at least if we can keep those 
packages up to date -- they work. They work with the version of python 
they are advertised to work with, they install in the right place, and 
they include all their dependencies -- what exactly do you need to know 
to use them? the problem is building them -- that you do need to know 
what you are doing to do.

> I personally
> distrust using pre-packaged repositories that depend on non-Apple
> Python unless you know what you're doing (and you don't).

come on -- you need to know what you are doing far more to build your 
own. I've seen your build scripts!

And I'm a lot more distrustful of using Apple's Python -- among other 
things, we can be pretty sure it will never be updated, and you can't 
update it yourself. I've recently been bitten by a bug in 2.5.1 that has 
been fixed for 2.5.2. If I was using Apple's Python, exactly what would 
my options be? Not to mention all the out of date packages Apple has 

The python.org python does not get in the way of or interact with 
Apple's python. Aside from having to download it (and disk space), there 
is no reason not to use it.

> Your problem is that you are using Fink; my advice is to remove the
> whole /sw tree, and rid yourself of dependence on Fink.

Well, that I agree with, but if you're using Fink for something else, 
that's not a great option.

I do think that NO python distutils scripts should look for stuff in /sw 
by default.

>  Once you've removed Fink, PIL installs just fine with:
>    sudo python setup.py install

Only if you've got the dependencies installed properly. And I'll bet if 
you google to figure out how to do that, there's good chance you'll try 
to use Fink (or macports)!

Sorry for the ranting, but the truth is that OS-X is almost like Linux, 
but not quite -- it's just not that easy to build stuff yourself, 
particularly for the typical Mac user. It's more like Windows, and 
almost every python extension distributes pre-build binaries for 
Windows. It would be nice if we could do that same for the Mac. And 
supporting the python.org python is the easiest way to do that.


Christopher Barker, Ph.D.

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Chris.Barker at noaa.gov

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