[SciPy-User] Pylab - standard packages

Fernando Perez fperez.net@gmail....
Fri Sep 21 19:26:06 CDT 2012

On Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 4:46 PM, Thomas Kluyver <takowl@gmail.com> wrote:
> Fernando sees Pylab as a way to push forward a system that outstrips
> the alternatives. Nathaniel views it as a formalisation of existing
> norms, which is also the angle I've come from. By analogy with Linux
> distributions, we are defining something like Linux Standard Base, and
> it's up to individual distributions to push what they consider the
> best possible experience. Imagine the protests if LSB specified a
> desktop environment. ;-)

Well, but that's because there's gnome, kde, xfce, unity, E, etc.
There are multiple choices for that layer, so the LSB doesn't want to
dictate one.

But we basically have in the pylab world *one* notebook tool, that's
it.  So I'm not talking about promoting a yet-to-be-proven tool over
the alternatives[1], but rather about whether we want a notebook
approach in the first place or not.  As mentioned before, Sage thought
already in 2006 that the answer to that should be a clear yes, and I
think their success is a data point worth considering.  If it was
obvious 6 years ago (when arguably it was a truly bold move by
William), it's only clearer now, I think.

I guess what you are saying is "pylab shouldn't include a notebook
tool, and stick to the shell+editor/ide level", then.  I find that
truly odd, since it seems to take a 2003 perspective of the problem,
not a 2013 one.  But if that's what the community wants to go with, as
I said, I'm fully cognizant that I only have one vote out of many (and
I won't rant like a lunatic further, no worries :).

In the end it may prove to be a moot discussion: the notebook is
obviously rising in usage rapidly absent the existence of a 'pylab
spec', so it's not like I'm worried about this 'harming' ipython in
any way.  And my own efforts will be spent squarely on that vision of
scientific computing: as much as I use the shell ipython and emacs
every day, that's where I see the future of the battles that matter.
But I do think it's a missed opportunity for our community.



[1] If anything, on the IDE front the discussion is far more wide
open: while spyder is awesome, I keep hearing good things about IdleX
and its dependencies are much lighter than Qt, and Canopy is over the
horizon backed by Enthought's not inconsequential expertise and

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