Python evolution: Unease

Bulba! bulba at
Fri Jan 7 07:40:14 EST 2005

On 06 Jan 2005 18:46:00 -0800, Paul Rubin
<> wrote:

>"Terry Reedy" <tjreedy at> writes:
>> Would it be possible, at least for Windows, to write a Python script 
>> implementing a 'virtual distribution'?  IE, download Python, install it, 
>> download next package, install it, etc.  -- prefereably table driven?

>I just don't understand why you'd want to do that, instead of putting
>all the files in the distro in the first place.

Plus there would be maddening dependencies - "oh, in order 
to  use this I need dl that". "oh, that package is missing", "why 
that doesn't work?" - and time gets wasted. 

On Linux, quite a lot of code had to be written to resolve
dependencies like "a.rpm depends on b.rpm depends on 
c.rpm ...".  Sure, apt is a wonderful tool for resolving 
such stuff - but I've seen even apt choking sometimes on 
dependencies it couldn't resolve, esp. when the package you 
attempt to dl is broken in some way. Reason - apt-get says 
"sorry, what this package depends on is broken and I can't 
find anything else in your /etc/apt/sources.list that would
be appropriate". Result? Nobody gets to use Pine on this 
machine, unless I compile it myself (which I finally did). 

Sure it _can_ be done, but essentially it's a waste of 
time that this person could devote to doing smth else. 

It doesn't happen often, but it happens.  Why get into 
resolving such complexity if you don't have to? 

There are good reasons to use tools like apt-get or yum or 
up2date on Linux: you can't fit the bugfixes on a CD that
come every day, obviously, there's too much of it all to 
fit simply everything anybody could ever need on the media, 
etc, etc. However, with Python that's not a problem, because 
distro is smaller and it doesn't change _that_ often, as lots 
of packages on Linux are updated almost daily. 

One of the options for Python could be to have two distributions: 
one standard, basic distribution, and the "Stuffed Python" based
on the standard, created simply by piling all the good stuff on top of
standard distro. 

It's a man's life in a Python Programming Association.

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