[Pythonmac-SIG] Some thoughts on Python and OS X

Chris Barker Chris.Barker at noaa.gov
Mon Jun 14 16:29:23 EDT 2004

Sarwat Khan wrote:

>> One of the things that is expected is that I can download, compile,
>> and install a more recent version of Python without problem (assuming
> The problem is that when something like Python is part of the system,  
> you can only really expect the OS vendor to be able to upgrade it.  
> Python is installed in /usr/bin, which means you shouldn't touch it (or  
> upgrade it).

Just because it hasn't been stated in this thread specifically:

The problem is not that you can't remove or upgrade the version Apple 
installed (you don't want to do that on RedHat, for instance, either). 
The problem is that if you install a newer version alongside the Apple 
one, the two can clash. This is a bug, and, as I understand it, 
solutions have been found, but it not clear to me whether a consensus 
was reached about which one to use. I'm hoping it will be solved in time 
for whenever Apple does decide to upgrade Python.

> /usr/local is for non-vendor stuff, so there's no reason for Apple to  
> populate it with anything (Linux does make a mess of this).

How so? Vendors don't put stuff there, most non-vendor distributed stuff 
does get put there. some individuals screw it up, but what do you expect?

> Personally,  
> I hate /usr/local. I use a /opt and install stuff in there (for  
> example, /opt/jpeg-6b/(bin, include, lib, ...)).

how is this different than /usr/local/jpeg-6b/... ? Just taste, I imagine.

> Similarly, I put my own builds of Python in their own spot and use that  
> instead of Apple's.

I haven't tried this, but I understand that people have had conflicts.


Christopher Barker, Ph.D.
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