[Numpy-discussion] Which Python to Use on OSX, Was: 1.1.0 OSX Installer Fails Under 10.5.3?

Christopher Barker Chris.Barker@noaa....
Wed Jun 4 11:36:32 CDT 2008

Tommy Grav wrote:
> I have installed Activepython on my machine (PPC w/ 10.5.3)
> and it has worked more or less flawlessly.

And I've been using the python.org one for ages, also with NO issues. I 
tried to use Apple's Python for a while back with 10.2, but there were 
always problems, and Apple's has never patched or upgraded anything 
python within an OS version. This really is an issue: I just ran into a 
python bug that was fixed between 2.5.1 and 2.5.2 -- do you really not 
want to have the option of fixing that? You've also got an old wxPython, 
and old numpy, an old who knows what?

Also, it seems some folks have been having breakage of already compiled 
pyc files when upgrading to the latest 10.5

If you install your own Python, you have control over everything you 
need to, and you won't break anything Apple is using.

One other issue -- if you want to build re-distributable apps with 
py2app, or Universal binaries of packages, you'll need the python.,org 
python (Or some monkey-patching of the system python).

>> export PYTHONPATH=/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/ 
>> Current/lib/python2.5/site-packages

This will probably not break anything Apple did, as their stuff won't be 
using your bash_profile, but it still scares me a bit.

 >> The best thing is that the system
>> wxPython is used, when it can be a PITA to setup correctly through
>> other ways.

huh? The installer provided at the wxPython pages has always worked 
flawlessly for me (for the python.org build) -- what could be easier?

By the way, this was discussed a lot on the pythonmac list -- though 
with no consensus reached :-( . For historical interest however, the 
Python supplied with 10.5 is the first one that core pythonmac folks 
have considered not too broken to use.

One more plug for my opinion -- the Python-on-OS-X world is far too 
fractured -- Apple's build, python.org's, Activestate's, fink, macports, 
build-from tarball... It's a mess, and a real pain for folks that want 
to just build/install a binary package. If the community could settle on 
one build to support, life would be so much easier. Python.org's 2.5 
build is really the only option for that (I think ActiveState's may be 
compatible), as it is the only one that supports:

10.3.9 and 10.4 and 10.5
PPC and Intel
building Universal binary packages.

That's why the binary distributed by numpy is for that build, and it's a 
good choice. (the working should be change,d tough, it's not the 
"system" python).


Christopher Barker, Ph.D.

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