[Numpy-discussion] Numeric3

Chris Barker Chris.Barker at noaa.gov
Mon Feb 7 11:58:32 EST 2005

konrad.hinsen at laposte.net wrote:
>> By the way, here OS-X is much better than other systems, it comes with
>> lapack built in! (Veclib)
> I didn't know it has lapack, I thought it was only BLAS!

I may be wrong about that. It certainly has BLAS, but I didn't patch 
Numeric's setup.py, so I'm not sure how that worked.

> With Apple's Python, it's command line 
> installation (which I don't mind,

Neither do I, so maybe that's why. Frankly, though, fink is command line 
also, and a really ugly one, in my experience!

> I certainly agree on that. I curse Fink about once a week. But in the 
> absence of an alternative, Fink is better than no Fink.

I number of folks seem to think darwinports is a better alternative. I 
think, if  nothing else, they make greater effort to use Apple-supplied 
libraries, when they exist. I still want to try Gentoo. I love it for 
Linux (once the system is installed, anyway!)

> Attributing fault makes little sense in the OpenSource world.

Fault wasn't really the right word. The question that is relevant in 
Open Source is: Where can I contribute to address this problem?

>>  there aren't all that many people using OS-X developing Python 
>> packages, and Apple has, of course, made OS-X just different enough 
>> from other unices to require some work (or take the easy way and use 
>> fink, but then it

> Not really, you can do command-line installation ("python setup.py...") 
> just like on any other Unix, usually without any modification. The 
> problem is that Mac users expect installers.

Anything that you can setup.py --build you can  :

$ bdist_mpkg

And get a nifty Apple-style point and click package. This is thanks to 
Bob Ippolito's Py2App.

However, the big problem is dependencies. Not only are Linux users more 
accustomed to the command line, but Linux distros come with far more 
open source libs. Also, Apple has not provided a standard package 
manager. I can build an rpm (or deb, or ebuild) for a given version of 
Linux, and it fits in with the rest of the system, and users can use the 
same system to inform them about, and help them install, dependencies. 
With OS-X, you're left to fend for yourself, combing the web for 
tarballs, fink or darwinports packages.

> It should be possible to extend distutils for making Mac installers just 
> like it can make RPMs and Windows installers.

It's been done. See above.

> Right. But I still wonder why non-scientific projects (e.g. Python 
> itself, or Linux) don't suffer so much from this problem.

I think they do. I can't say I've seen a distinction. If there is one, 
perhaps it's because much of the programming done on scientific projects 
is done by scientists, rather than programmers, we're even more inclined 
to be building something primarily because we need it.


Christopher Barker, Ph.D.
NOAA/OR&R/HAZMAT         (206) 526-6959   voice
7600 Sand Point Way NE   (206) 526-6329   fax
Seattle, WA  98115       (206) 526-6317   main reception

Chris.Barker at noaa.gov

More information about the NumPy-Discussion mailing list