[Python-Dev] Making stdlib modules optional for distributions (Was: Breaking up the stdlib (Was: release cadence))

Daniel Holth dholth at gmail.com
Thu Jul 7 09:34:40 EDT 2016

Yes, not too long ago I installed "every" Python package on Ubuntu, and
Python basically would not start. Perhaps some plugin system was trying to
import everything and caused a segfault in GTK. The "short sys.path" model
of everything installed is importable has its limits.

On Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 9:24 AM Barry Warsaw <barry at python.org> wrote:

> On Jul 07, 2016, at 08:12 AM, Eric V. Smith wrote:
> >One thing to keep in mind if we do this is how it interacts with the -S
> >command line option to not include site-packages in sys.path. I currently
> use
> >-S to basically mean "give my python as it was distributed, and don't
> include
> >anything that was subsequently added by adding other RPM's (or package
> >manager of your choice)". I realize that's a rough description, and
> possibly
> >an abuse of -S. If using -S were to start excluding parts of the stdlib,
> that
> >would be a problem for me.
> It's an important consideration, and leads to another discussion that's
> recurred over the years.  Operating systems often want an "isolated"
> Python,
> similar to what's given by -I, which cannot be altered by subsequent
> installs.  It's one of the things that lead to the Debian ecosystem using
> dist-packages for PyPI installed packages.  Without isolation, it's just
> too
> easy for some random PyPI thing to break your system, and yes, that has
> really
> happened in the past.
> So if we go down the path of moving more of the stdlib to site-packages, we
> also need to get serious about a system-specific isolated Python.
> Cheers,
> -Barry
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