Favorite flavor of Linux? (for python or anything else)

Paul Boddie paul at boddie.org.uk
Tue Dec 6 00:02:24 CET 2005


Jorgen Grahn wrote:
> But any Unix today will come with a reasonable Python installation; I don't see that
> as an important part of the choice.

Yes, the days of Red Hat only shipping Python 1.5.2 are long gone. But
I don't fully agree with your conclusion, because the Python
installation is one small piece of developing and using Python
solutions, and having ready-made packages for some larger frameworks
and toolkits seriously reduces the effort required to start using them,
whilst increasing the exposure of those frameworks and toolkits.

For example, one thing I'd really like to see is the more widespread
adoption of PyKDE, since it would encourage more people to develop KDE
applications in Python, as opposed to lower-level languages, and thus
open the door to a larger number of good, reliable applications in that
environment. Unfortunately, many distributions still seem to subject
their users to the sometimes tricky process of an installation from
source that could put many people off - people who would otherwise just
pick up that toolkit.

If such talk of KDE makes your eyes glaze over, consider another
example: wxWidgets plus wxPython. Back in its days as wxWindows - in a
just world that would arguably still be its real name ;-) - the tower
of technologies (Gtk+, wxGtk, wxPython) seemed to involve razor edge
management of dependencies that frequently ended in compilation errors.
People may regard package management outside the strictest realm of
Pythondom as uninteresting (did the Python Eggs people ever speak to
the guy who develops the Smart Package Manager, for example?), but such
factors are critical to the convenience of Python users and for
Python's wider success.

Paul




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