[Numpy-discussion] [matplotlib-devel] Announcing toydist, improving distribution and packaging situation

Dag Sverre Seljebotn dagss at student.matnat.uio.no
Mon Jan 4 03:48:43 EST 2010

Nathaniel Smith <njs at pobox.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 3, 2010 at 4:23 AM, David Cournapeau <cournape at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Another way is to provide our own repository for a few major
>> distributions, with automatically built packages. This is how most
>> open source providers work. Miguel de Icaza explains this well:
>> http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2007/Jan-26.html
>> I hope we will be able to reuse much of the opensuse build service
>> infrastructure.
> Sure, I'm aware of the opensuse build service, have built third-party
> packages for my projects, etc. It's a good attempt, but also has a lot
> of problems, and when talking about scientific software it's totally
> useless to me :-). First, I don't have root on our compute cluster.

I use Sage for this very reason, and others use EPD or FEMHub or
Python(x,y) for the same reasons.

Rolling this into the Python package distribution scheme seems backwards
though, since a lot of binary packages that have nothing to do with Python
are used as well -- the Python stuff is simply thin wrappers around what
should ideally be located in /usr/lib or similar (but are nowadays
compiled into the Python extension .so because of distribution problems).

To solve the exact problem you (and me) have I think the best solution is
to integrate the tools mentioned above with what David is planning (SciPI
etc.). Or if that isn't good enough, find generic "userland package
manager" that has nothing to do with Python (I'm sure a dozen
half-finished ones must have been written but didn't look), finish it, and
connect it to SciPI.

What David does (I think) is seperate the concerns. This makes the task
feasible, and also has the advantage of convenience for the people that
*do* want to use Ubuntu, Red Hat or whatever to roll out scientific
software on hundreds of clients.

Dag Sverre

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