[Python-Dev] [Pydotorg] Should we help pythonmac.org?

Joe Smith unknown_kev_cat at hotmail.com
Thu Aug 21 23:55:11 CEST 2008

"Jesse Noller" <jnoller at gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:4222a8490808191344y6af0b4a3pe7f99dcd263e162e at mail.gmail.com...
> On Tue, Aug 19, 2008 at 1:28 PM, Bill Janssen <janssen at parc.com> wrote:
>>> > My understanding is that if there is a system Python, you shouldn't
>>> > change it.  Ever.
>>> Huge, big, honkin' +1 from me on that.  Besides, for a system Python,
>>> you want your distribution to manage packages, not setuptools,
>>> otherwise you confuse -- and probably break -- your system.
>> I find this discussion fascinating.  I install new packages into my
>> system Python all the time, with "/usr/bin/python setup.py install",
>> and that includes setuptools.  I've got PIL, ReportLab, Twisted, Xlib,
>> appscript, docutils, email-4.0.1, fuse, PyLucene, medusa, mutagen,
>> roman, setuptools, and SSL installed in the Leopard machine I'm
>> writing from.  They don't wind up in
>> /System/Library/.../site-packages/, they wind up in
>> /Library/Python/2.5/site-packages/, which is sort of the right place,
>> from an Apple point of view.  I do this on lots of Macs -- I've got a
>> regular posse of them at work.  And I've never had any problems with
>> it.
>> I agree that there are some things I'd be very wary of installing into
>> the system Python, like PyObjC, and Zope.  Usually, I don't install
>> anything which appears to already be there.
>> Bill
> Bill is correct - using /usr/bin/python does install packages to
> /Library/... - this is sort of the right place because it still
> installs it to a "system path", where it can side-effect other users,
> but it is a "mostly correct" way for Apple framework installs.

/Library is system-wide, yes, but not system-reserved.
/System/Library/ is system-wide and system reserved.

Just like on most distros (LFS and some older distros excluded):
/usr/ is system-wide and system-reserved.
/usr/local/ is sytem-wide, but not system-reserved.

Computer admins are supposed to install into /Library/ or /usr/local/.

The only possible problem of installing new Python modules into /Library/ is 
if any system Python scripts that depend on exact versions of libraries 
shipped in /System/Library/, but were not crafted as to ignore /Library/. 
That can be problematic, and arguablly a bug in the script, but Apple does 
not tend to fix those bugs that quickly.

(OS bugs is one area where Apple's traditional secrecy is a bad thing. More 
transparency in bug fixing can only be an improvement.) 

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