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

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Wed Nov 15 09:17:25 EST 2017

On 15 November 2017 at 22:46, Michel Desmoulin <desmoulinmichel at gmail.com>

> Le 13/11/2017 à 19:57, Chris Barker a écrit :
> > 3) Make --user be be automatic for pip install. Not actually the
> > default, but pip could do a user install if you don't have the
> > permissions for a non-user install.
> Breaking compat ? Not sure people will accept.

This isn't actually a Python level change - it's a pip UX level one, and
already on their todo list: https://github.com/pypa/pip/issues/1668

I believe the next concrete step that can be taken there is to actually add
an explicit `--global` flag, so I've belatedly broken that out as its own
issue: https://github.com/pypa/pip/issues/4865

> Should I do a PEP with a summary of all the stuff we discussed ?

I think a Windows-specific PEP covering adding PATH updates back to the
default installer behaviour, and adding pythonX and pythonX.Y commands
would be useful (and Guido would presumably delegate resolving that to
Steve Dower as the Windows installer maintainer).

The one thing I'd ask is that any such PEP *not* advocate for promoting
ther variants as the preferred way of invoking Python on Windows - rather,
they should be positioned as a way of making online instructions written
for Linux more likely to "just work" for folks on Windows (similar to the
utf-8 encoding changes in https://www.python.org/dev/peps/pep-0529/)

Instead, the focus should be on ensuring the "python -m pip install" and
"pip install" both work after clicking through the installer without
changing any settings, and devising a troubleshooting guide to help folks
that are familiar with computers and Python, but perhaps not with Windows,
guide folks to a properly working environment.

The update to the Windows installer would then start offering benefits as
soon as Python 3.7 becomes the default download, while the troubleshooting
guide would be beneficial as soon as folks start learning about it's


Nick Coghlan   |   ncoghlan at gmail.com   |   Brisbane, Australia
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