[Python-Dev] PEP 453 (pip bootstrapping) ready for pronouncement?

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Sat Sep 28 02:40:30 CEST 2013

On 28 Sep 2013 00:08, "Stephen J. Turnbull" <stephen at xemacs.org> wrote:
> Nick Coghlan writes:
>  > I'm not sure what usage model you're assuming for _ensurepip, but it
>  > appears to be wrong. End users should be able to just run pip, and
>  > either have it work, or else get a message from the OS vendor telling
>  > them to install the appropriate system package.
> I don't understand how you arrange for that message on existing
> installs.  Wouldn't it be easier to just lobby the distros to make
> Python dependent on pip?

Most distros of interest already emit that message - it's part of a
standard mechanism to check for system packages if a command isn't found
(and I believe even RHEL and derivatives may support this for pip if the
EPEL repo is enabled).

> And speaking of vendors, do you expect Apple
> and Microsoft to provide such a message?  And such a system package?

No, that's why the proposal is to modify the CPython installers for those

> If you already are running a Linux distro or MacPorts, you do "apt-get
> python-pip" and "port install py-pip" respectively.  I bet Cygwin is
> the same with yet another spelling.  Where's the problem?  You say:
>  > New users on Windows and Mac OS X. I've heard many more complaints
>  > from folks running tutorials about the pip bootstrapping process than
>  > I ever have from the community at large about the GIL :P
> I bet those users are *not* running third-party distros, but rather
> are sitting in front of pretty close to plain vanilla factory installs
> of the OS, no?  And "new users" on Mac OS X already have "old installs"
> of Python, no?

No. Instuctors tell users on Mac OS X to install from python.org or use one
of the third party package managers.

> That's my model.  In that model I don't see backporting PEP 453 to
> Python 2.7 as being a sufficiently reliable way to provide a smooth
> user experience to justify breaking the "no new features" rule (which
> is at the "read my lips" level after the True/False fiasco).

You have confirmed my belief that your model is incorrect. The feedback I
have received is that the majority of beginners are introduced to Python by
downloading the binary installers from python.org for Windows or Mac OS X.

> Get a commitment from Apple to put 2.7.6 in their next upgrades for
> their OS, and then maybe you'd have enough leverage to tip the
> balance.  I certainly would concede the point.  But without that,
> you're telling Mac users "you have to upgrade Python from a 3rd party
> site."  Is that really the way to make new users participating in a
> tutorial session happy?  (You tell me, I'm just introspecting here.)

Yes, that's exactly what happens. People don't use the system Python on Mac
OS X the way they do on *nix systems.


> Steve
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