[AstroPy] astropy in Debian, Scientific Linux?

Erik Bray embray@stsci....
Mon Apr 8 08:18:31 CDT 2013

On 04/07/2013 07:17 PM, Sergio Pascual wrote:
> Disclaimer: I'm a packager in Fedora Linux
> John,
> pip will download the tarballs of python packages and compile them using the
> available tools in the system. That works well for pure Python
>   packages, but once you start with packages with C dependencies things grow
> fragile. For example, pip won't install the ATLAS libraries if you don't have
> them and you are trying to build numpy. Other packages such as scipy and
> matplotlib are difficult to build properly using pip unless you know what you
> are doing.
> So, in my opinion, a precompiled package is much better solution for a casual
> user, someone that wants to write a short script and get a plot quickly.
> Unless, of course, you don't have root access.
> Regards

For what it's worth, Python has a new officially blessed binary distribution 
format for Python packages called "wheel".  Unlike the old egg format, it is 
based on a standard, and also supports non-pure Python packages well, including 
better indicators for platform support.

For Astropy we've already experimented with building wheels for Numpy and SciPy 
for use in our continuous integration tests (to avoid having to re-build those 
packages repeatedly).  Right now wheel support is only included in the 
development version of pip, but I suspect that once there's a public release 
with that support we'll start getting some official wheel distributions for 
projects such as those.

Now, this does not negate the problem of wanting Astropy in OS package managers, 
but it does help a great deal with installation for average users.


> 2013/4/8 John Zuhone <jzuhone@gmail.com <mailto:jzuhone@gmail.com>>
>     Sergio,
>     I have no idea what you are talking about when you insinuate that using pip
>     is a roadblock to getting on with "Science."
>     You don't have to download or compile any source code at all to use pip.
>     Once installed (from yum or something else), it works just like any other
>     package manager.
>     Best,
>     John Z
>>     Sent from Mailbox <https://bit.ly/SZvoJe> for iPhone
>     On Sun, Apr 7, 2013 at 5:50 PM, Sergio Pascual <sergio.pasra@gmail.com
>     <mailto:sergio.pasra@gmail.com>> wrote:
>         Hi,
>         the past year we had a discussion about SOFA, an IAU library astropy
>         depends on, see the details here:
>         https://groups.google.com/d/topic/astropy-dev/QVpMZFlsQUo/discussion
>         In short:
>           * The Fedora legal team reviewed the SOFA license and they considered
>         it non-free.
>           * I wrote the SOFA board asking for a license change, they did not
>         answered my request
>           * SOFA and (any program depending on it) *astropy* cannot be included
>         in Fedora or EPEL (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux) with the current
>         SOFA license.
>           * astropy could be included by *removing* SOFA and the modules
>         depending on it (astropy.time ?)
>           * somebody could package SOFA and astropy in rpmfusion.org
>         <http://rpmfusion.org>, which provides non-free/free-with-legal-problems
>         packages for Fedora and EPEL
>           * or in a different Fedora repository that provides
>           * I think the situation in Debian is different
>         Not having precompiled packages available in Fedora/EPEL is very bad for
>         astropy in my opinion. From a small sample of 20
>         Professors-Postdocs-Students in my Astrophysics Department, I can say
>         that only those doing software development use "pip". The vast majority
>         use "yum" in Fedora or "fink/macports" in Mac to bring in the package
>         and continue doing Science.
>         Regards, Sergio
>         2013/4/7 Leo Singer <lsinger@caltech.edu <mailto:lsinger@caltech.edu>>
>             Hello,
>             I would like to use Astropy on Debian and Scientific Linux. My
>             experiment is pretty strict about using packaged software. Are there
>             are there any plans to create .debs or .rpms for Astropy?
>             I know how to create packages for both platforms, so I could help,
>             but I don't (yet) know much about how the Debian and Scientific
>             Linux/Red Hat/Fedora communities work, so I would not yet know where
>             or how to submit them.
>             Best,
>             Leo Singer
>             Graduate Student @ LIGO-Caltech
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