[Numpy-discussion] numpy docs dependency problem in Ubuntu

Barry Warsaw barry at python.org
Fri Feb 11 10:55:03 EST 2011

Hi Robert,

On Feb 10, 2011, at 04:39 PM, Robert Kern wrote:

>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.
>  http://packages.ubuntu.com/natty/python/python-matplotlib

I'm not well versed enough in python-matplotlib's packaging to understand why
the dependencies are what they are.  Reducing dependencies is almost always
good though, and I agree that the use case of being able to install it without
the GUI components would be a win all around.  Any insight into reducing those
hard dependencies is appreciated!

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

main is transitively closed under build-depends, depends, and recommends.
suggests of universe packages isn't a problem, but recommends of universe will
cause them to be listed for promotion to main.  So I think that's problematic.

>> 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.
>  http://docs.scipy.org/doc/numpy-1.5.x/numpy-html.zip

As mentioned previously, I *think* ideally separate source tarballs for the
code and docs would be ideal.  I'd then work to create two different source
packages, get those into Debian, and then we'd be able to sync those to
Ubuntu.  Our only divergence from Debian would then be to put the code package
in main and the documentation package in universe.

Do you think that would be feasible?

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