[Python-ideas] High time for a builtin function to manage packages (simply)?

Brett Cannon brett at python.org
Sat Sep 5 19:05:21 CEST 2015

On Sat, 5 Sep 2015 at 08:40 Steven D'Aprano <steve at pearwood.info> wrote:

> On Sat, Sep 05, 2015 at 04:08:24PM +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> > Steven D'Aprano writes:
> >
> >  > You say "of course", but did you actually look at the python-list
> >  > archives? If you do, you will see posts like these two within the last
> >  > 24 hours:
> >
> > So let's fix it, already![1]  Now that we have a blessed package
> > management module, why not have a builtin that handles the simple
> > cases?  Say
> >
> >     def installer(package, command='install'):
> >         ...
> Python competes strongly with R in the scientific software area, and R
> supports a built-in to do just that:
> https://stat.ethz.ch/R-manual/R-devel/library/utils/html/install.packages.html

The reason R has a built-in for this is because it's used a vast majority
of the time from a REPL to do data analytics in an exploratory manner
(think Jupyter notebook type of data exploration). Python does not have the
same typical usage style and so I don't think we should follow R in this
instance (although I have had R users says that packaging in R is far
superior than Python due to ease of getting extensions installed period and
not because of the lack of a function, but that's another discussion).
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