[Numpy-discussion] Future directions for SciPy in light of meeting at Berkeley

Michiel Jan Laurens de Hoon mdehoon at ims.u-tokyo.ac.jp
Wed Mar 9 01:07:44 EST 2005

Travis Oliphant wrote:
> Proposal (just an idea to start discussion):
> Subdivide scipy into several super packages that install cleanly but can 
> also be installed separately.  Implement a CPAN-or-yum-like repository 
> and query system for installing scientific packages.

Yes! If SciPy could become a kind of scientific CPAN for python from 
which users can download the packages they need, it would be a real 
improvement. In the end, the meaning of SciPy evolve into "the website 
where you can download scientific packages for python" rather than "a 
python package for scientific computing", and the SciPy developers might 
not feel OK with that.

> Base package:
> scipy_core -- this super package should be easy to install (no Fortran) 
> and should essentially be old Numeric.  It was discussed at Berkeley, 
> that very likely Numeric3 should just be included here.


>  I think this 
> package should also include plotting, weave, scipy_distutils, and even 
> f2py. 

I think you are underestimating the complexity of plotting software. 
Matplotlib relies on a number of other packages, which breaks the "easy 
to install" rule. Pygist doesn't rely on other packages, but (being the 
pygist maintainer) I know that in practice users can still run into 
trouble installing pygist (it's a little bit harder than installing 
Numerical Python). And if you do include pygist with scipy_core anyway, 
you may find out that some users want matplotlib after all. Since both 
pygist and matplotlib exist as separate packages, it's better to leave 
them out of scipy_core, I'd say.


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