[Python-ideas] install pip packages from Python prompt

Chris Barker chris.barker at noaa.gov
Tue Oct 31 11:49:12 EDT 2017

oops, hit the send button too soon...

here's some more:

On Tue, Oct 31, 2017 at 8:41 AM, Chris Barker - NOAA Federal <
chris.barker at noaa.gov> wrote:

>> Nope.  I totally get that they don’t know what a shell or command prompt
>> is.  THEY. NEED. TO. LEARN.  Hiding it is not a good idea for anyone.
> I actually take this approach myself in my classes. However, I also have
> as prerequisites for my classes:
> Some Experience in some programming language
> And
> Basic familiarity with the command line.
> I then let them use whatever dev. Environment they want, while supporting
> and recommending a good editor and the command line.
> However, If people want to learn python that don’t have those
> prerequisites, then we suggest a different class designed for total newbies.
> In THAT class,  we use a more proscribed dev environment so that everyone
> is doing the same thing in the same way. It was IDLE, and has lately been
> PyCharm.
> And the intro to data analytics class uses Anaconda and the Jupyter
> notebook.
> My point?
> We're not in the business of making judgements about who should and
> shouldn't become Python programmers - we're in the business of making sure
> that Python is accessible to as many people as possible by removing
> irrelevant barriers to adoption,
> Sure, but who is “we”? I think “we” is the python community, not the
> cPython developers.
> So providing an environment that makes it easy and obvious to install
> packages is a great idea, but I think it’s the job of IDEs and other higher
> level tools, not the REPL.
> If we need to add a feature to Python itself to make it easier for IDEs
> and the like to implement dynamic package adding, then by all means, let’s
> do it.
> Final note:
> I DO see a lot of questions ( on mailing lists, etc) from folks that try
> to type “pip install something” at the python command line.

And sure, some of those are completly clueless about what a command line is
and how to use it, but others DO have an idea about the command line, but
dont know that:

>>> pip install something
  File "<stdin>", line 1
    pip install something
SyntaxError: invalid syntax

means: "this was supposed to be run at the command prompt"

So I think defining a "pip" builtin that simply gave a helpful message
would be a good start.

(hmm, it's a syntax error, so not as simple as a builtin -- but it could be
caught somehow to give a better message)

At the end of the day, python is an open source programming language -- it
simply is NOT ever going to provide one complete well integrated
environment --we'll just have to live with that.



Christopher Barker, Ph.D.

Emergency Response Division
NOAA/NOS/OR&R            (206) 526-6959   voice
7600 Sand Point Way NE   (206) 526-6329   fax
Seattle, WA  98115       (206) 526-6317   main reception

Chris.Barker at noaa.gov
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