[Numpy-discussion] Announcing toydist, improving distribution and packaging situation

René Dudfield renesd@gmail....
Tue Dec 29 12:36:12 CST 2009

On Tue, Dec 29, 2009 at 2:34 PM, David Cournapeau <cournape@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 29, 2009 at 10:27 PM, René Dudfield <renesd@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Buildout is what a lot of the python community are using now.
> I would like to note that buildout is a solution to a problem that I
> don't care to solve. This issue is particularly difficult to explain
> to people accustomed with buildout in my experience - I have not found
> a way to explain it very well yet.


The main problem buildout solves is getting developers up to speed
very quickly on a project.  They should be able to call one command
and get dozens of packages, and everything else needed ready to go,
completely isolated from the rest of the system.

If a project does not want to upgrade to the latest versions of
packages, they do not have to.  This reduces the dependency problem a
lot.  As one package does not have to block on waiting for 20 other
packages.  It makes iterating packages daily, or even hourly to not be
a problem - even with dozens of different packages used.  This is not
theoretical, many projects iterate this quickly, and do not have

Backwards compatibility is of course a great thing to keep up... but
harder to do with dozens of packages, some of which are third party
ones.  For example, some people are running pygame applications
written 8 years ago that are still running today on the latest
versions of pygame.  I don't think people in the python world
understand API, and ABI compatibility as much as those in the C world.

However buildout is a solution to their problem, and allows them to
iterate quickly with many participants, on many different projects.
Many of these people work on maybe 20-100 different projects at once,
and some machines may be running that many applications at once too.
So using the system pythons packages is completely out of the question
for them.

> A scientist who installs numpy, scipy, etc... to try things out want to have everything available in one python interpreter, and does
> not want to jump to different virtualenvs and whatnot to try different packages.

It is very easy to include a dozen packages in a buildout, so that you
have all the packages required.

Anyway... here is a skeleton buildout project that uses numpy if
anyone wants to have a play.


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