[Numpy-discussion] RPMs out of date, have problems

Joe Harrington jh at oobleck.astro.cornell.edu
Wed Jan 2 11:28:14 CST 2002

Hi folks,


The latest Numeric release on the web site is 20.3.  The latest with
an RPM is 20.1, and that RPM has a problem: it creates a directory in
the system root directory.  Paul D. says he will implement a solution
but doesn't have the experience with RPMs (or the time) to find the
problem quickly.  I haven't dealt with building Python packages or
distutils (is distutils a separate thing or part of Python?) at all.
Can someone with the relevant experience fix the current problem and
help Paul implement the solution so he can post current RPMs that
install right?  Ditto anyone who knows how to make packages for Debian,
Solaris, and other popular package managers.


As I've mentionned previously, I'm getting an increasing number of
queries from astronomers who want to play with Numeric.  At this stage
many of the converts will be application code contributors who will
help build a library of discipline-specific routines.  In talking to
these people, I am finding them less than patient with the good 'ol
tarball (a position I take myself, following the experience of
maintaining the Clue Files, see
ftp://oobleck.astro.cornell.edu/pub/clues.tar.gz).  To them, it's not
serious software if it isn't prepared under their system's
installation manager.  We need these (very) early adopters, so I think
that having a current Numeric RPM for i386 Linux (and the equivalent
for i386 Debian GNU/Linux and Solaris Sparc architectures, if someone
knows how to build them) would be a Good Thing.  Trivial install ->
more users, more users -> more volunteers and more contributed code.

Also, it would be more consistent with the RPM naming scheme to call
the RPM "python-Numeric" (or "python-numeric", or even "numpy") rather
than just "Numeric".  If that's hard or philosophically undesirable,
don't bother, but the name has changed a few times, so I hope it isn't
a big deal.  Sysadmins have to deal with more than 1000 packages now,
and knowing what a package is just by looking at the name is a big
help.  Also, you can do things like 'rpm -qa | grep python' and get a
list of all the python-related packages on your system.  "Numeric" is
too general outside the context of Python.

All of the above goes for Numarray, when its developers are ready for
the community at large to start writing code that uses it.



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