[Numpy-discussion] numpy docs dependency problem in Ubuntu

Robert Kern robert.kern at gmail.com
Thu Feb 10 17:39:27 EST 2011

On Thu, Feb 10, 2011 at 11:22, Barry Warsaw <barry at python.org> wrote:

> Here's the problem: for Ubuntu, we've had to disable the building of the numpy
> documentation package, because its dependencies violate Ubuntu policy.  Numpy
> is in our "main" archive but the documentation depends on python-matplotlib,
> which lives in our "universe" archive.  Such cross archive dependencies break
> the build.
> We can't put python-matplotlib in main because of *its* dependencies.

As a digression, I think the python-matplotlib dependencies could be
significantly reduced. For a number of use cases (this is one of them,
but there are others), you don't need any GUI backend. Independent of
this issue, it would be great to be able to install python-matplotlib
in a headless server environment without pulling in all of those GUI
bits. Looking at the list of the hard dependencies, I don't understand
why half of them are there.


Would "universe" packages that are merely "suggested" or "recommended"
also preclude python-matplotlib from moving into "main"?

> I'm inclined to propose this as a permanent workaround, but I wanted to get
> your feedback first.  Is there a better way to build the docs without
> matplotlib?  What are the practical effects of my workaround?  Do you think
> this will be an acceptable solution for Ubuntu users of numpy?

We might be able to commit to building and releasing complete doc
packages with each source release. Could you just download and use
those? We currently make such doc packages, but I don't think we keep
old micro revisions around, and I suspect you would want those.


Robert Kern

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless
enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as
though it had an underlying truth."
  -- Umberto Eco

More information about the NumPy-Discussion mailing list