[SciPy-User] Pylab - standard packages

Almar Klein a.klein@science-applied...
Wed Sep 19 04:49:16 CDT 2012

On 19 September 2012 11:29, Thomas Kluyver <takowl@gmail.com> wrote:

> On 19 September 2012 07:44, Christoph Gohlke <cgohlke@uci.edu> wrote:
> > the recent poll "Scientific Python packages: Popularity check" by Pierre
> > Raybaut [1] might be of interest.
> Thanks Christoph, that is interesting. After numpy, scipy & matplotlib
> (each around 270 votes), other popular modules include PyQt (162), PIL
> (118), SymPy (112) and ETS (102). N.B. Cython and IPython weren't
> included in the poll.
> Almar:
> > I liked the idea (can't remember where I've read/heard it) that
> different groups can maintain their own page with
> > packages that are relevant to their field. As someone working in medical
> imaging I would suggest skimage and
> > pydicom should be in the standard, but as a biologists you may not even
> know what pydicom is :)  So it's kind of
> > two levels, but the second level is partitioned in different topics.
> I quite like this idea as well, although it's not without its own
> troubles. The different fields aren't neatly delineated, so it will be
> rather subjective who should find what package useful. And it's
> probably too much complexity for distributions to provide multiple
> bundled pylab profiles, so users would still be installing those extra
> packages themselves.

I agree. One thing that might happen is that some fields get their own
distribution. Or maybe we will finally get packaging right and it won't be
a problem...

One argument in favor of grouping advanced packages in topics is that is
will scale better. As more and more fields start using Python, and more and
more functionality becomes available, a full-version of pylab would become
huge, even though most users only need a specific set of packages.

My issue with the simpler multiple-levels (core vs recommended/full)
> idea is that it's not clear who the target audience is. Given that
> this is a user-facing name, I think each level needs a clear "get this
> version if you ..." story. If we decide that Cython is important and
> it should be in the 'full' level, who only needs the 'core' set? The
> answer can't include 'if you need to interface with C libraries',
> because newcomers won't know what they need in that kind of detail.

Good point. Plus it adds confusion. On the other hand, a user can still
upgrade later if he finds out he needs to.

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