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

Chris Barker - NOAA Federal chris.barker at noaa.gov
Wed Sep 16 19:25:34 CEST 2015

 >but it's still depressing how many people
>are still writing blog posts and SO answers
>and so on that tell people "you need to
>install the latest version of Python, 2.7,

I teach an intro to python class, and have been advocating
python/supporting users of python on OS-X for years. AND I am one
those folks that advocates starting out by installing the latest
Python2.7 (unless your going with 3). And I don't think I'm going to

>because your computer doesn't come with

But never for that reason, but because I don't think users SHOULD rely
on the system Python on OS-X (and probably orher systems). You can
google the reasons why -- you'll probably find a fair number of posts
with my name on it ;-). Or, if that debate really is relevant to this
discussion I could repeat it all here...

>and then proceed to give instructions
>that will lead to a screwed up PATH

Well, I hope I don't do that ;-) -- in fact, the python.org installer
has done a pretty nice job with its defaults for years -- the people
that get messed up the ones that try to "fix" it be hand, when they
don't know what they are doing (and very few people DO know what they
doing with PATH on OS-X)

>and make no mention of virtualenv...

OK, I do that ..... But quite deliberately. Virtualenv solves some
problems for sure, but NOT the "I can't import something I swear I
just installed" problem. in fact, it creates even MORE different
"python" and "pip" commands, and a greater need to understand PATH,
and what terminals are configured how, etc.

So no, I don't introduce virtualenv to beginners.

But I'll probably start teaching:

python -m pip install ......


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