[SciPy-User] Pylab - standard packages

Nathaniel Smith njs@pobox....
Fri Sep 21 17:00:55 CDT 2012

On Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 9:47 PM, Fernando Perez <fperez.net@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 11:25 AM, Ralf Gommers <ralf.gommers@gmail.com> wrote:
>> We're talking about the base (non-compiler) version, right? Then -1 on GUI
>> toolkits.
> As much as it pains me, I agree: the situation with Qt is really not
> easy.  I don't know if pyside is yet a full replacement for PyQt, at
> least from what I've seen pyqt still works a lot better.  And what
> with Nokia jettisoning Qt overboard, its future is by no means a clear
> one.  That's a project of a complexity far too large for our limited
> resources to tackle, I'm afraid.

This is off-topic, but my impression is that Qt is still incredibly
strong. The team got "jettisoned" to another company who actually
wants to continue developing Qt (and the project has been profitable
forever), still have ~dozens of full-time contributors, and in the
last few years have become a real open-source project with many
outside contributors. And they have this strange foundation structure
where basically if the KDE folks ever decide that whichever company
supports Qt is screwing things up, then they can pull the plug and
convert it into a pure open-source project. Qt is really the only
credible way of writing a serious cross-platform GUI. And even without
that, in the X11 world it's clearly technically superior to GTK+ at
this point, and AFAIK it's the best option for writing a pure Windows
GUI with Python.

> There are three things that are hugely important but that due to their
> complexity I think we should shy away from, at least at the start and
> for the 'base' spec:
> - cython/numba/f2py: compilers needed (and possibly three different ones!)

FWIW, AFAICT every distribution we're talking about as "pylab
candidates" already *does* include compilers (at least EPD, Anaconda,
Python(x,y) do, and so does every Linux distribution, plus I assume
most ways of getting a usable OS X system require this). Numba's a
different matter since I assume it has a rather more intimate
relationship with LLVM internals, but cython at least is a pretty
fundamental tool, at least as much so as many of these other packages
we're talking about like pandas.

> - mayavi: VTK and a GUI toolkit.
> - Qt
> I do use all of the above (well, not numba yet), but it's one thing to
> deploy this stuff on a personally-managed up to date linux box,
> another altogether to define a spec we can be sure will be met by
> everyone who will face the packaging/distribution nightmare across all
> platforms.


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