Why is pip not mentioned in the Installation Documentation?

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Why is pip not mentioned in the Installation Documentation?

Mathew Topper
Hi,

I'm interested to know why the pip package manager is not more widely supported for installation of python packages like matplotlib? Matplotlib seems to be particularly slowly updated in the Fedora repositories, for example, so I often find that a source installation is necessary. I know this isn't especially difficult for the experienced user, but surely using something like pip would make this process for accessible for all users of python packages, particularly those that do not receive much attention from the big distribution maintainers? Yet, pip doesn't get a mention on the installation documentation of matplotlib or many other python packs.

I would love to hear anyone's thoughts on this matter.

Many Thanks,

Mat
--
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Institute for Energy Systems
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Tel: +44 (0)131 650 5570
School fax: +44 (0)131 650 6554
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Re: Why is pip not mentioned in the Installation Documentation?

Michael Droettboom-3
One of the reasons (historically) is that the build scripts predate setuptools and ships copies of dependencies rather than using easy_install or pip to install them.  There is an open PR to address this here:

https://github.com/matplotlib/matplotlib/pull/1454

But you do make a good point that `pip` should be mentioned in the docs as part of that change.

Mike

On 11/16/2012 05:54 AM, Mathew Topper wrote:
Hi,

I'm interested to know why the pip package manager is not more widely supported for installation of python packages like matplotlib? Matplotlib seems to be particularly slowly updated in the Fedora repositories, for example, so I often find that a source installation is necessary. I know this isn't especially difficult for the experienced user, but surely using something like pip would make this process for accessible for all users of python packages, particularly those that do not receive much attention from the big distribution maintainers? Yet, pip doesn't get a mention on the installation documentation of matplotlib or many other python packs.

I would love to hear anyone's thoughts on this matter.

Many Thanks,

Mat
--
Dr. Mathew Topper
Institute for Energy Systems
School of Engineering
The University of Edinburgh
Faraday Building
The King’s Buildings
Edinburgh EH9 3JL
Tel: +44 (0)131 650 5570
School fax: +44 (0)131 650 6554
[hidden email]
http://www.see.ed.ac.uk


The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.


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Re: Why is pip not mentioned in the Installation Documentation?

Mathew Topper
Thanks Mike, that's good to know. Will packages dependant on matplotlib (I'm thinking of basemap) be encouraged to follow suit? I know that python package management is a massive headache for our system maintainers here, and any simplification would be gratefully received.

Cheers,

Mat

On 16/11/12 13:59, Michael Droettboom wrote:
One of the reasons (historically) is that the build scripts predate setuptools and ships copies of dependencies rather than using easy_install or pip to install them.  There is an open PR to address this here:

https://github.com/matplotlib/matplotlib/pull/1454

But you do make a good point that `pip` should be mentioned in the docs as part of that change.

Mike

On 11/16/2012 05:54 AM, Mathew Topper wrote:
Hi,

I'm interested to know why the pip package manager is not more widely supported for installation of python packages like matplotlib? Matplotlib seems to be particularly slowly updated in the Fedora repositories, for example, so I often find that a source installation is necessary. I know this isn't especially difficult for the experienced user, but surely using something like pip would make this process for accessible for all users of python packages, particularly those that do not receive much attention from the big distribution maintainers? Yet, pip doesn't get a mention on the installation documentation of matplotlib or many other python packs.

I would love to hear anyone's thoughts on this matter.

Many Thanks,

Mat
--
Dr. Mathew Topper
Institute for Energy Systems
School of Engineering
The University of Edinburgh
Faraday Building
The King’s Buildings
Edinburgh EH9 3JL
Tel: +44 (0)131 650 5570
School fax: +44 (0)131 650 6554
[hidden email]
http://www.see.ed.ac.uk


The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.


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Tel: +44 (0)131 650 5570
School fax: +44 (0)131 650 6554
[hidden email]
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Re: Why is pip not mentioned in the Installation Documentation?

Russell E. Owen-2
In reply to this post by Mathew Topper
In article <[hidden email]>,
 Mathew Topper <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I'm interested to know why the pip package manager is not more widely
> supported for installation of python packages like matplotlib?
> Matplotlib seems to be particularly slowly updated in the Fedora
> repositories, for example, so I often find that a source installation is
> necessary. I know this isn't especially difficult for the experienced
> user, but surely using something like pip would make this process for
> accessible for all users of python packages, particularly those that do
> not receive much attention from the big distribution maintainers? Yet,
> pip doesn't get a mention on the installation documentation of
> matplotlib or many other python packs.
>
> I would love to hear anyone's thoughts on this matter.

Unfortunately pip cannot install binaries, so any user that tried to
install matplotlib using pip would have to have a C compiler.

Unfortunately many users do not have a compiler on MacOS and Windows.

In addition, matplotlib has some important dependencies that may not be
available on all systems. MacOS now includes all necessary libraries. I
don't think that is true for most flavors linux (though there is
probably an easy way to get all missing packages). I have no idea about
Windows.

I agree pip should be mentioned, but I don't see it as a viable
mainstream means of installing matplotlib.

(Does it even work with matplotlib? I've never tried it.)

-- Russell


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Re: Why is pip not mentioned in the Installation Documentation?

Sterling Smith

On Nov 16, 2012, at 2:25PM, Russell E. Owen wrote:

> In article <[hidden email]>,
> Mathew Topper <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Hi,
>>
>> I'm interested to know why the pip package manager is not more widely
>> supported for installation of python packages like matplotlib?
>> Matplotlib seems to be particularly slowly updated in the Fedora
>> repositories, for example, so I often find that a source installation is
>> necessary. I know this isn't especially difficult for the experienced
>> user, but surely using something like pip would make this process for
>> accessible for all users of python packages, particularly those that do
>> not receive much attention from the big distribution maintainers? Yet,
>> pip doesn't get a mention on the installation documentation of
>> matplotlib or many other python packs.
>>
>> I would love to hear anyone's thoughts on this matter.
>
> Unfortunately pip cannot install binaries, so any user that tried to
> install matplotlib using pip would have to have a C compiler.
>
> Unfortunately many users do not have a compiler on MacOS and Windows.
>
> In addition, matplotlib has some important dependencies that may not be
> available on all systems. MacOS now includes all necessary libraries. I
> don't think that is true for most flavors linux (though there is
> probably an easy way to get all missing packages). I have no idea about
> Windows.
>
> I agree pip should be mentioned, but I don't see it as a viable
> mainstream means of installing matplotlib.
>
> (Does it even work with matplotlib? I've never tried it.)
>
> -- Russell

pip is the only method I have used in my Linux work.

-Sterling

>
>
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Re: Why is pip not mentioned in the Installation Documentation?

Ludwig Schwardt-2
In reply to this post by Mathew Topper
Hi Russell,

On Friday 16 November 2012 at 2:25 PM, Russell Owen wrote:

Unfortunately pip cannot install binaries, so any user that tried to
install matplotlib using pip would have to have a C compiler.

Unfortunately many users do not have a compiler on MacOS and Windows.
This is true, and an important advantage of the binary installer [1].

However, I would venture that most scientific users will have installed a compiler (at least on the Mac) - even accidentally, due to all the complicated installation procedures for many scientific software packages :-)

In addition, matplotlib has some important dependencies that may not be
available on all systems. MacOS now includes all necessary libraries. I
don't think that is true for most flavors linux (though there is
probably an easy way to get all missing packages). I have no idea about
Windows.

(Does it even work with matplotlib? I've never tried it.)
Pip works beautifully on the Mac since Lion, once you install pkg-config. This allows matplotlib to pick up the dependencies from the system (i.e. libpng, libfreetype and zlib). My shortest suggested route to Matplotlib on Lion is (assuming you have Homebrew installed):

brew install pkg-config
sudo pip install matplotlib

The problem with pip / easy_install is that a lot of people assume that this is the standard way to install Python packages. I don't blame them - in fact, I would want all packages to be compatible with pip. It's not the greatest tool, given the pretty sorry state of Python packaging, but it is pretty much the simplest option from the command line.

Best regards,
Ludwig

[1] For me the only downside of the installer is the use of Python.org Python instead of the default "system" Python, as the latter makes more sense to me for a standard installation (and avoids having multiple Pythons on your system, which is a Good Thing). Python.org Python used to be a mandatory install on older Mac systems such as Tiger / 10.3, but this is no longer a compelling argument for me on newer systems.


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Re: Why is pip not mentioned in the Installation Documentation?

Neal Becker
In reply to this post by Mathew Topper
Mathew Topper wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I'm interested to know why the pip package manager is not more widely
> supported for installation of python packages like matplotlib?
> Matplotlib seems to be particularly slowly updated in the Fedora
> repositories, for example, so I often find that a source installation is
> necessary. I know this isn't especially difficult for the experienced
> user, but surely using something like pip would make this process for
> accessible for all users of python packages, particularly those that do
> not receive much attention from the big distribution maintainers? Yet,
> pip doesn't get a mention on the installation documentation of
> matplotlib or many other python packs.
>
> I would love to hear anyone's thoughts on this matter.
>
> Many Thanks,
>
> Mat

It is dangerous to use pip on fedora, it may result in your next attempt to
update the system failing horribly.

If you use it, try to install with --user.  Unfortunately, this often won't work
because pip will then complain when attempting to remove a system version of
some dep.


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Re: Why is pip not mentioned in the Installation Documentation?

Mathew Topper
Hi Neal,

Is that due to conflicting package versions? I haven't suffered any particular issues like this yet, but it seems to me that pip would be improved if it interacted better with the environment it was in. How hard would it be to get pip to interact with yum and apt, for instance, to get valid binaries and/or devel files?

I can't help thinking that Latex packaging is very similar, in that linux distributions often struggle to keep up, which I guess is why TexLive started.

And then to complicate matters further, our sys admin said he didn't like pip as he would rather generate RPMs, in order that there is not a lot of work to do for system rebuilds in our labs. I found pypi2rpm, but that looks pretty bleeding edge and I think I'm getting out of my depth as a humble scientist.

Mat

On 19/11/12 12:59, Neal Becker wrote:
Mathew Topper wrote:

Hi,

I'm interested to know why the pip package manager is not more widely
supported for installation of python packages like matplotlib?
Matplotlib seems to be particularly slowly updated in the Fedora
repositories, for example, so I often find that a source installation is
necessary. I know this isn't especially difficult for the experienced
user, but surely using something like pip would make this process for
accessible for all users of python packages, particularly those that do
not receive much attention from the big distribution maintainers? Yet,
pip doesn't get a mention on the installation documentation of
matplotlib or many other python packs.

I would love to hear anyone's thoughts on this matter.

Many Thanks,

Mat
It is dangerous to use pip on fedora, it may result in your next attempt to 
update the system failing horribly.

If you use it, try to install with --user.  Unfortunately, this often won't work 
because pip will then complain when attempting to remove a system version of 
some dep.


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--
Dr. Mathew Topper
Institute for Energy Systems
School of Engineering
The University of Edinburgh
Faraday Building
The King’s Buildings
Edinburgh EH9 3JL
Tel: +44 (0)131 650 5570
School fax: +44 (0)131 650 6554
[hidden email]
http://www.see.ed.ac.uk

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

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Re: Why is pip not mentioned in the Installation Documentation?

Neal Becker
The problem is that pip packages something as a dir where easy_install packages as a file, or vice-versa.  Then when you update, cpio will fail (doesn't know how to replace a dir with a file, or vice-versa).  Next, the entire installation will abort!!!!  Leaving you with a mess.

I understand it's possible to manually then fix this mess using (some obscure) yum incantations, but I don't recall what.  Usually at this point I wipe the disc.

This has happened to me multiple times on multiple machines, and was discussed at some length on fedora-dev list maybe 1 year ago.  The basic message was that I shouldn't use pip to install into the system dirs.  But even using pip --user is not answer, because pip will see that e.g., matplotlib wants a newer version of pytz, and will attempt to remove the system pytz (and fail and abort).

The only reliable approach is virtualenv.  Not really very satisfactory.


On Tue, Nov 20, 2012 at 6:02 AM, Mathew Topper <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Neal,

Is that due to conflicting package versions? I haven't suffered any particular issues like this yet, but it seems to me that pip would be improved if it interacted better with the environment it was in. How hard would it be to get pip to interact with yum and apt, for instance, to get valid binaries and/or devel files?

I can't help thinking that Latex packaging is very similar, in that linux distributions often struggle to keep up, which I guess is why TexLive started.

And then to complicate matters further, our sys admin said he didn't like pip as he would rather generate RPMs, in order that there is not a lot of work to do for system rebuilds in our labs. I found pypi2rpm, but that looks pretty bleeding edge and I think I'm getting out of my depth as a humble scientist.

Mat

On 19/11/12 12:59, Neal Becker wrote:
Mathew Topper wrote:

Hi,

I'm interested to know why the pip package manager is not more widely
supported for installation of python packages like matplotlib?
Matplotlib seems to be particularly slowly updated in the Fedora
repositories, for example, so I often find that a source installation is
necessary. I know this isn't especially difficult for the experienced
user, but surely using something like pip would make this process for
accessible for all users of python packages, particularly those that do
not receive much attention from the big distribution maintainers? Yet,
pip doesn't get a mention on the installation documentation of
matplotlib or many other python packs.

I would love to hear anyone's thoughts on this matter.

Many Thanks,

Mat
It is dangerous to use pip on fedora, it may result in your next attempt to 
update the system failing horribly.

If you use it, try to install with --user.  Unfortunately, this often won't work 
because pip will then complain when attempting to remove a system version of 
some dep.


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--
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Institute for Energy Systems
School of Engineering
The University of Edinburgh
Faraday Building
The King’s Buildings
Edinburgh EH9 3JL
Tel: <a href="tel:%2B44%20%280%29131%20650%205570" value="+441316505570" target="_blank">+44 (0)131 650 5570
School fax: <a href="tel:%2B44%20%280%29131%20650%206554" value="+441316506554" target="_blank">+44 (0)131 650 6554
[hidden email]
http://www.see.ed.ac.uk

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.



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Re: Why is pip not mentioned in the Installation Documentation?

Mathew Topper
Neal, thanks for the warning. I found the thread of your discussion here actually:

http://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/devel/2012-February/162496.html

It's very interesting. My feeling would be that a PyPI fedora repository would make the most sense - much like the current Fedora TexLive2012 testing repository - but obviously this is no small job.

"python setup.py install" doesn't have similar issues, I take it?

Mat

On 20/11/12 11:40, Neal Becker wrote:
The problem is that pip packages something as a dir where easy_install packages as a file, or vice-versa.  Then when you update, cpio will fail (doesn't know how to replace a dir with a file, or vice-versa).  Next, the entire installation will abort!!!!  Leaving you with a mess.

I understand it's possible to manually then fix this mess using (some obscure) yum incantations, but I don't recall what.  Usually at this point I wipe the disc.

This has happened to me multiple times on multiple machines, and was discussed at some length on fedora-dev list maybe 1 year ago.  The basic message was that I shouldn't use pip to install into the system dirs.  But even using pip --user is not answer, because pip will see that e.g., matplotlib wants a newer version of pytz, and will attempt to remove the system pytz (and fail and abort).

The only reliable approach is virtualenv.  Not really very satisfactory.


On Tue, Nov 20, 2012 at 6:02 AM, Mathew Topper <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Neal,

Is that due to conflicting package versions? I haven't suffered any particular issues like this yet, but it seems to me that pip would be improved if it interacted better with the environment it was in. How hard would it be to get pip to interact with yum and apt, for instance, to get valid binaries and/or devel files?

I can't help thinking that Latex packaging is very similar, in that linux distributions often struggle to keep up, which I guess is why TexLive started.

And then to complicate matters further, our sys admin said he didn't like pip as he would rather generate RPMs, in order that there is not a lot of work to do for system rebuilds in our labs. I found pypi2rpm, but that looks pretty bleeding edge and I think I'm getting out of my depth as a humble scientist.

Mat

On 19/11/12 12:59, Neal Becker wrote:
Mathew Topper wrote:

Hi,

I'm interested to know why the pip package manager is not more widely
supported for installation of python packages like matplotlib?
Matplotlib seems to be particularly slowly updated in the Fedora
repositories, for example, so I often find that a source installation is
necessary. I know this isn't especially difficult for the experienced
user, but surely using something like pip would make this process for
accessible for all users of python packages, particularly those that do
not receive much attention from the big distribution maintainers? Yet,
pip doesn't get a mention on the installation documentation of
matplotlib or many other python packs.

I would love to hear anyone's thoughts on this matter.

Many Thanks,

Mat
It is dangerous to use pip on fedora, it may result in your next attempt to 
update the system failing horribly.

If you use it, try to install with --user.  Unfortunately, this often won't work 
because pip will then complain when attempting to remove a system version of 
some dep.


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--
Dr. Mathew Topper
Institute for Energy Systems
School of Engineering
The University of Edinburgh
Faraday Building
The King’s Buildings
Edinburgh EH9 3JL
Tel: <a moz-do-not-send="true" href="tel:%2B44%20%280%29131%20650%205570" value="+441316505570" target="_blank">+44 (0)131 650 5570
School fax: <a moz-do-not-send="true" href="tel:%2B44%20%280%29131%20650%206554" value="+441316506554" target="_blank">+44 (0)131 650 6554
[hidden email]
http://www.see.ed.ac.uk

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.



--
Dr. Mathew Topper
Institute for Energy Systems
School of Engineering
The University of Edinburgh
Faraday Building
The King’s Buildings
Edinburgh EH9 3JL
Tel: +44 (0)131 650 5570
School fax: +44 (0)131 650 6554
[hidden email]
http://www.see.ed.ac.uk

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

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Re: Why is pip not mentioned in the Installation Documentation?

Neal Becker
python setup.py install won't cause that issue.

Also, easy_install doesn't cause the same issue.  OTOH, I'm not sure what easy_install does in the case of deps.  If you use pip install --user it will try (and fail) to remove old versions of deps from system.  I don't know what easy_install does in this case.

I have also had issues where python setup.py install will install everything into /usr/lib, while fedora packaging will try to install arch-dep parts under e.g., /usr/lib64.  I have many times wound up with 2 versions of things that way.


On Tue, Nov 20, 2012 at 7:04 AM, Mathew Topper <[hidden email]> wrote:
Neal, thanks for the warning. I found the thread of your discussion here actually:

http://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/devel/2012-February/162496.html

It's very interesting. My feeling would be that a PyPI fedora repository would make the most sense - much like the current Fedora TexLive2012 testing repository - but obviously this is no small job.

"python setup.py install" doesn't have similar issues, I take it?

Mat


On 20/11/12 11:40, Neal Becker wrote:
The problem is that pip packages something as a dir where easy_install packages as a file, or vice-versa.  Then when you update, cpio will fail (doesn't know how to replace a dir with a file, or vice-versa).  Next, the entire installation will abort!!!!  Leaving you with a mess.

I understand it's possible to manually then fix this mess using (some obscure) yum incantations, but I don't recall what.  Usually at this point I wipe the disc.

This has happened to me multiple times on multiple machines, and was discussed at some length on fedora-dev list maybe 1 year ago.  The basic message was that I shouldn't use pip to install into the system dirs.  But even using pip --user is not answer, because pip will see that e.g., matplotlib wants a newer version of pytz, and will attempt to remove the system pytz (and fail and abort).

The only reliable approach is virtualenv.  Not really very satisfactory.


On Tue, Nov 20, 2012 at 6:02 AM, Mathew Topper <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Neal,

Is that due to conflicting package versions? I haven't suffered any particular issues like this yet, but it seems to me that pip would be improved if it interacted better with the environment it was in. How hard would it be to get pip to interact with yum and apt, for instance, to get valid binaries and/or devel files?

I can't help thinking that Latex packaging is very similar, in that linux distributions often struggle to keep up, which I guess is why TexLive started.

And then to complicate matters further, our sys admin said he didn't like pip as he would rather generate RPMs, in order that there is not a lot of work to do for system rebuilds in our labs. I found pypi2rpm, but that looks pretty bleeding edge and I think I'm getting out of my depth as a humble scientist.

Mat

On 19/11/12 12:59, Neal Becker wrote:
Mathew Topper wrote:

Hi,

I'm interested to know why the pip package manager is not more widely
supported for installation of python packages like matplotlib?
Matplotlib seems to be particularly slowly updated in the Fedora
repositories, for example, so I often find that a source installation is
necessary. I know this isn't especially difficult for the experienced
user, but surely using something like pip would make this process for
accessible for all users of python packages, particularly those that do
not receive much attention from the big distribution maintainers? Yet,
pip doesn't get a mention on the installation documentation of
matplotlib or many other python packs.

I would love to hear anyone's thoughts on this matter.

Many Thanks,

Mat
It is dangerous to use pip on fedora, it may result in your next attempt to 
update the system failing horribly.

If you use it, try to install with --user.  Unfortunately, this often won't work 
because pip will then complain when attempting to remove a system version of 
some dep.


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--
Dr. Mathew Topper
Institute for Energy Systems
School of Engineering
The University of Edinburgh
Faraday Building
The King’s Buildings
Edinburgh EH9 3JL
Tel: <a href="tel:%2B44%20%280%29131%20650%205570" value="+441316505570" target="_blank">+44 (0)131 650 5570
School fax: <a href="tel:%2B44%20%280%29131%20650%206554" value="+441316506554" target="_blank">+44 (0)131 650 6554
[hidden email]
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The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.



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Re: Why is pip not mentioned in the Installation Documentation?

Russell E. Owen-2
In reply to this post by Ludwig Schwardt-2
In article <[hidden email]>,
 Ludwig Schwardt
 <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Pip works beautifully on the Mac since Lion, once you install pkg-config.
> This allows matplotlib to pick up the dependencies from the system (i.e.
> libpng, libfreetype and zlib)....

I had not heard of pkg-config before. It looks very useful.

>...
> [1] For me the only downside of the installer is the use of Python.org Python
> instead of the default "system" Python, as the latter makes more sense to me
> for a standard installation (and avoids having multiple Pythons on your
> system, which is a Good Thing). Python.org Python used to be a mandatory
> install on older Mac systems such as Tiger / 10.3, but this is no longer a
> compelling argument for me on newer systems.

Simplicity is nice, and it's a shame there are so many 3rd party
versions of python now (python.org, Enthought, ActiveState).

Nonetheless, there are some good reasons for avoiding system python,
including:
- Apple rarely updates system python, so one does not get bug fixes
- If the operating system uses python for anything then it's safest to
leave it alone

Regards,

-- Russell


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