[PYTHON MATRIX-SIG] plotting software

Konrad Hinsen hinsen@ibs.ibs.fr
Wed, 4 Jun 1997 11:20:15 +0200

> Python extensions composed of /both/ Python source /and/ compiled
> extensions, are not well served by simply "import"-ing a dynloadable
> module, since it may be necessary to simultaneously update the
> PYTHONPATH to find the *.py files that go with the .so.  Support for
> this kind of thing is very poor in Python.  The PLplot approach to

This looks rather easy - just import sys and append something to
sys.path. Easily doable even in a C extension. But I am not at all
sure that it's a good idea to change the search path dynamically,
because it could cause unpleasant surprises. For example, a module
in the new path could have the same name as a module somewhere else
in the path. I'd rather have such name clashed static so that I can
find a workaround.

That aside, I do agree that Python's support for installing and
configuring nontrivial extension packages is not perfect. What I'd
like to see is a package system like ni to become standard (i.e. built
into the interpreter and fast), plus a package installation script to
automate whatever has to be done to get the path set correctly.

But in general, the Python installation procedure seems OK to me. What
it does automatically works, and what it can't do automatically it
doesn't try to do. I don't mind a few minutes of manual configuration
(mostly editing Modules/Setup), it's much better than trying to figure
out why some fancy automatic configuration doesn't work.
Konrad Hinsen                          | E-Mail: hinsen@ibs.ibs.fr
Laboratoire de Dynamique Moleculaire   | Tel.: +33-
Institut de Biologie Structurale       | Fax:  +33-
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