[Python-ideas] pythonv / Python path

Brett Cannon brett at python.org
Sat Oct 23 23:27:25 CEST 2010

Is this email meant to simply point out the existence of pythonv, or
to start a conversation about whether something should be tweaked in
Python so as to make pythonv/virtualenv easier to implement/use?

If it's the latter then let's have the conversation! This was brought
up at the PyCon US 2010 language summit and the consensus was that
modifying Python to make something like virtualenv or pythonv easier
to implement is completely acceptable and something worth doing.

On Sat, Oct 23, 2010 at 12:32, Ian Bicking <ianb at colorstudy.com> wrote:
> The recent path discussion reminded me of a project I talked about with
> Larry Hastings at the last PyCon about virtualenv and what could possibly be
> included into Python.  Larry worked on a prototype that I was supposed to do
> something with, and then I didn't, which is lame of me but deserves some
> note:
> http://bitbucket.org/larry/pythonv/src
> It satisfies several requirements that I feel virtualenv accomplishes and a
> lot of other systems do not; but it also has a few useful features
> virtualenv doesn't have and is much simpler (mostly because it has a
> compiled component, and changes the system site.py).
> The features I think are important:
> * Works with "environments", which is a set of paths and installed
> components that work together (instead of just ad hoc single path extensions
> like adding one entry to PYTHONPATH)
> * Modifies sys.prefix, so all the existing installation tools respect the
> new environment
> * Works with #!, which basically means it needs its own per-environment
> interpreter, as #! is so completely broken that it can't have any real
> arguments (though it occurs to me that a magic comment could work)
> * Doesn't use environmental variables (actually it uses them internally, but
> not in a way that is exposed to developers) -- for instance, hg should not
> be affected by whatever development you are doing just because it happens to
> be written in Python
> Anyway, I think what Larry did with pythonv accomplishes a lot of these
> things, and probably some more constraints that I've forgotten about.  It
> does have a more complicated/dangerous installation procedure than
> virtualenv (but if it was part of Python proper that would be okay).
> --
> Ian Bicking  |  http://blog.ianbicking.org
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