[Python-ideas] Defining an easily installable "Recommended baseline package set"

Paul Moore p.f.moore at gmail.com
Sun Oct 29 16:26:23 EDT 2017

On 29 October 2017 at 18:56, Guido van Rossum <guido at python.org> wrote:
> The two use cases you describe (scripters and teachers) leave me luke-warm
> -- scripters live in the wild west and can just pip install whatever (that's
> what it means to be scripting)

In my experience, "scripting" *does* include people for whom "being in
a standard Python distribution" is a requirement.

Situations I have encountered:

1. Servers where developers need to write administrative or monitoring
scripts, but they don't control what's on that server. The Python
installation that comes by default is all that's available.
2. Developers working in environments with limited internet access.
For example, my employer has a Windows (NTLM) proxy that pip can't
work with. Getting internet access for pip involves installing a
separate application, and that's not always possible/desirable.
3. Developers writing scripts to be shared with non-developers. On
Unix, this means "must work with the system Python", and on Windows
"download and install Python from python.org" is typically all you can
expect (although in that case "install Anaconda" is a possible
alternative, although not one I've tried telling people to do myself).

Nick's proposal doesn't actually help for (1) or (2), as the problem
there is that "pip install" won't work. And bundling a script with its
(pure Python) dependencies, for example as a zipapp, is always a
solution - although it's nowhere near as easy as simply copying a
single-file script to the destination where it's to be run. So these
situations don't actually matter in terms of the value of the
proposals being discussed here. But I did want to dispute the idea
that "scripters can just pip install whatever" is inherent to the idea
of being a scripter - my experience is the opposite, that scripters
are the people *least* able to simply pip install things.


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