[Python-Dev] 3.5 release schedule PEP

Chris Barker chris.barker at noaa.gov
Fri Sep 26 19:03:31 CEST 2014

On Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 5:38 PM, Donald Stufft <donald at stufft.io> wrote:

> 2) Switch to —user based on if the user has permission to write to the
>>     site-packages or not.
> ouch -- no. Why not a clear error message if pip can't write to
> site-packages -- something like:
> I fairly strongly believe that the current default is doing a great
> disservice
> to users. I believe that for *most* people --user is the correct option for
> them to be using and the fact that it's not the default and requires opt in
> is a historical artifact more than anything else.

OK -- fine -- I think that history may be important -- at least for Py2,
but I agree that --user is a better default.

But what I'm objecting to is is switching the install mode based on the
permissions that the user happens to be running with at the time.

None of us should be routinely running as admin. So what I do (and I image
a LOT of people do) is try to do whatever I need to do, and only if I get
an error to I switch to admin mode (or add sudo, or ???). What I'm
suggesting is that folks that simply expect stuff to get installed into the
usual system python is not thinking ahead of time "oh, I need be admin for
this", but rather, simply do it, and then, if you get a permission error,
make the switch to either admin in mode, or add --user.

If we do switch the default to --user, then this issue goes away.

In short -- too much magic is bad.

All this is also making me think that virtualenv and friends is the real
solution to user installed packages anyway.



Christopher Barker, Ph.D.

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Chris.Barker at noaa.gov
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