[SciPy-User] Pylab - standard packages

Matthew Brett matthew.brett@gmail....
Tue Sep 18 17:44:07 CDT 2012


On Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 11:26 PM, Thomas Kluyver <takowl@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi again,
> It now looks like we're going to use Pylab as the name for the 'scipy
> stack'. Now I want to turn to the question of what it should include.
> The idea is that Python distributions can call themselves Pylab
> compliant if they provide at least a defined set of packages. Also, I
> hope that it will become a metapackage in Linux distributions, so that
> users can 'apt-get install pylab' or similar
> As a minimum, I assume we should require Python, Numpy, Scipy and
> Matplotlib. Does anyone disagree?
> I also think we should specify minimum versions. The standard itself
> will be versioned, so we can raise these over time. For Python, I
> intend the requirement to be 2.x >= 2.6 or 3.x >= 3.2. What are
> sensible minimum versions of Numpy, Scipy and Matplotlib

I think I don't understand any more what is proposed.  You mean pylab
would be a sort of seal of conformity to the "pylab" standard?  So you
know you have pylab iff you have Python > .... etc?  Then
distributions like EPD and Python XY would be pylab-certified in some

> Should the standard include an interface? IPython, a more traditional
> IDE, or both? On the one hand, specifying a standard interface means
> users can share experience better, and exchange richer files, like
> IPython notebooks or IDE project structures. Matlab, for instance,
> wins praise for including a powerful IDE by default. On the other
> hand, we've got several interesting UI efforts still taking shape -
> IPython notebooks, Spyder, IEP - and declaring one standard would make
> the alternatives less visible. I'm honestly torn on this - I can see
> good arguments for and against.

I can only say that I invariably install all of numpy, scipy,
matplotlib and ipython.  Is there enough agreement on the virtues of
the more IDE-like GUIs to chose one?  Is there a good reason not to
include Ipython?

I have a hunch that Ipython + notebook may well become standard soon,
requiring some more dependencies such as zeromq, and providing that
would be a significant benefit.

> Other scientific packages we might consider include pandas (which
> provides functionality similar to core parts of R), Sympy, Cython,
> various scikits projects, h5py, and doubtless many others I haven't
> thought of. We could also specify general purpose Python packages such
> as requests, or a GUI toolkit.

Cython seems to me a strong contender there - I would guess a high
proportion of numerical python developers who also use scipy will have
had some need for Cython.  Is there any data you know of to address

I would personally love to see an hdf5 library included - we really
need a good fast standard storage protocol  that we can rely on being
available on the user's system.



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