[SciPy-user] Clarification

Prabhu Ramachandran prabhu_r at users.sf.net
Sat Jul 16 22:14:28 CDT 2005

Thanks for the comments.  First time someone has complained about
install instructions being bad in 4 years.  So unless someone tells me
I can't know.  :-)

>>>>> "Alan" == Alan G Isaac writes:

    Alan> 4. Go to MayaVi website and give thanks that there is
    Alan>    a Win32 binary that "comes bundled with everything
    Alan>    necessary to run MayaVi."  (Of course this means that I
    Alan>    read past the "recommendation" to install from sources
    Alan>    ...)

To be fair, the lines in question say this:

   "The stand-alone binaries are available for Win32 and Linux. They
   allow you to install MayaVi as an application without having to
   install VTK or even Python! If you are going to use MayaVi as a
   Python module then it is recommended that you install it from the

You are right in saying that the recommendation is understated.  I'll
fix that sometime this week.  However, there are lots of non-Python
folks who use the binaries, that is the target audience for the
standalone binaries.  There is also a reason why the binaries are
"standalone".  I was under the mistaken impression that the overall
wording indicates that the standalone install comes with its own
install of Python.  I assumed that it was clear to most Python users
that you can't use the binary and have mayavi working from another
installation of Python.  Maybe this presupposes too much Python
knowledge and since explicit is better than implicit I should state
this explicitly.

    Alan> 5. Install the binary and discover, alas, that I did not get
    Alan>    the pyvtk module with it. And test_vtk.py wants in

I guess you mean the VTK-Python bindings by pyvtk (there is another
package called pyvtk out there).  The binaries actually ship with all
the vtk-python stuff, but in a manner not easily usable outside of the
binary.  Thus it is not easy using them in your currently installed

    Alan>    addition a vtkpython module. Then I find this:
    Alan>         "If you have installed MayaVi from the sources and
    Alan>         are not using a binary release, then you can use
    Alan>         MayaVi as a Python module."
    Alan>    Aha.  That is what that "recommendation" was about.  Can
    Alan>    we agree that "recommendation" at this point appears a
    Alan>    bit understated?

Yes, I'll fix that sometime when I can.

    Alan> 6. Find nothing in the docs about how to add the module(s)
    Alan>    to work with my MayaVi installation, except of course the
    Alan>    recommendation to install from source.  (Of course,
    Alan>    despite the sanguine assessment on the MayaVi page, I
    Alan>    recall the various warnings of others, plus I now feel
    Alan>    "once burned".)

There is a whole section each on the requirements and installing VTK.
The requirements are the first thing mentioned in the "install from
sources" section.  So, I am not sure that this is not clear.

In addition to this there are also detailed accounts of how to build
VTK from sources under Linux, Win32 and the Mac on the wiki.

    Alan> 7. Give up and keep using gnuplot for now.

    Alan> If this sounds like a complaint, it is not.  It is meant to
    Alan> be informational.

Yes, thanks for the information.  However, you must understand that
things are not so easy to do considering the number of complications I
have to deal with as it is.  I've setup a wiki in the hope that it is
easier for users to help each other and it has worked well.
Unfortunately, we have spammers bent on abusing the wiki, so I have to
disable access except to those with a login.  The spammers then login
and abuse the site.  So I have to setup a trusted group.  This was
probably the most frustrating experience with spammers that I have

I also have not received much feedback on difficulties with installing
from sources and problems with the given instructions.

If you have more comments I'd appreciate if you sent them on the
mayavi-users list.

Under windows the easiest way to get almost everything you need
working is to use Enthon.  So if you are new to Python/SciPy etc. and
use Win32 this is a must have.


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