[SciPy-User] Pylab - standard packages

Nathaniel Smith njs@pobox....
Sun Sep 23 14:42:42 CDT 2012

On Sun, Sep 23, 2012 at 8:18 PM, Thomas Kluyver <takowl@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 23 September 2012 20:00, Nathaniel Smith <njs@pobox.com> wrote:
>> The ipython/spyder incompatibility
>> means that right now, putting ipython notebooks in the spec would rule
>> out spyder and Python(x,y).
> To elaborate on this: I'm not aiming to specifically exclude any
> distribution, but I'm also not aiming to specifically *include* any
> distribution, nor to include all scientific Python distributions. If
> we think that a certain distribution is missing things that should be
> part of the standard, we shouldn't relax the standard to accept that.
> At present, for example, EPD Free will not meet the draft standard.

Then we should talk to the EPD folk about whether that can be fixed.

The whole point of this standard is that people actually use it,
right? People will keep using EPD Free no matter what we do here, and
people writing docs will continue to care about what EPD Free does no
matter what pylab says.

> Whether or not we specify the IPython notebook, we will almost
> certainly specify a version of IPython that *can* run the notebook. We
> will work with Spyder and Python(x,y) to get a newer version of
> IPython in, but the current version of Python(x,y) would not meet the
> specified version of IPython either way. As you mentioned, there's no
> value in suggesting people do only what they already are.

And then in the next sentence I also mentioned that there's no value
in telling people to do things that they won't do...? And it destroys
the point of this project. As you just mentioned in another email, one
of the points of this is to codify a set of common tools that we can
assume people will have available, which makes it easier to write
tutorials, blog posts, etc. But I'm not going to write a tutorial that
assumes that no-one is using EPD or Python(x,y)! I'm going to aim my
tutorial at the users that actually exist. And if the pylab spec
doesn't describe the users that actually exist, then it's just a nice
fairytale, not something I can depend on.

I'm also worried that if we just show up with a list of package
versions, then the distro authors will react the same way any of us
would if someone showed up at our projects waving a todo list for us
and insisting that this is what we had to do for our next release...
it's a good recipe to make people grumpy. Perhaps a better next step
at this point would be to start a pylab list, move the discussion
there, and make sure that the various stakeholders are specifically


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