[Python-ideas] Looking for input to help with the pip situation

Michel Desmoulin desmoulinmichel at gmail.com
Fri Nov 10 02:05:05 EST 2017

> Which is why we advise getting into a virtual environment ASAP, such
> that the only platform specific thing folks necessarily need to learn
> to get started is how to get to that first working virtual
> environment.

You can't start by teaching virtualenv. I tried. It doesn't work. And
it's a terrible prerequisit if you write docs, tutorial, teaching
materials, etc.

>> - install pip manually on linux
> s/Linux/Ubuntu/
> Other distros (like Fedora) provide pip by default.

s/Ubuntu/Debian derivates

Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Linux Tail, etc.

>> - make sure the system path is correctly set
> Recent python.org Windows installers do this automatically, but there
> are unfortunately still lots of ways for things to go wrong.

Just gave a training for python 3.6 this week. It doesn't. You need to
explicitly check a box to do so. Box that no beginer would ever check
without being told to. Actually a box that some of my students even
don't check despite being emphatically told to.

>> Stuff that they will forget on the next install, or miss when changing
>> plateform
> Yes, because computers are awful, and incredibly user hostile. We
> don't have a magic wand to wave to fix that.

No, but we can make some adjustment to make lifes easier. For this
particular issue, checking the box by default would help beginners.
Sysadmin not wanting it would understand the problem and be able to take
the proper decision.

>> And assume that stuff in any tutorial you make they know this stuff.
>> This is a strong barrier or entry IMO.
> Sure, but it's not one we can readily fix - the user hostility of
> command line environments and the compromises we have to make to abide
> by platform conventions are in the hands of operating system vendors,
> and there's only so much we can do to paper over those distinctions
> when user lock-in and putting barriers in the way of cross-device
> portability is a core part of commercial OS vendors' business models.

That is  avery pessimistic that would prevent use from making any
progress in any thing. All the other participants offered at least 3
solutions to problems. They are workable. They may help. We should try them.

> This is a big part of why mobile client devices with cloud backends
> are so popular, even for development purposes: they allow for a much
> simpler developer experience that avoids decades of accumulated cruft
> in the desktop operating system command line experience. Even there
> though, you're faced with the fact that once you choose a provider,
> whatever you do there will probably be locked into that provider and
> not transferable elsewhere.

I agree.

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