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Re: when and why did python(-minimal) become essential?

Matthias Klose wrote:
> It would be interesting to qualify the "lot". Even the Windows installer
> allows you to install only parts of the complete package. And won't
> these people complain that the C compiler is missing, at least you did
> install the headers?

It's difficult to quantify. I could research the python-help mailing
list (an internal list where people can ask for free help), but that
would be very tedious to do.

People don't get so far as to find that they don't have a C compiler.
They read the instructions, and the instructions tell them to

   python setup.py install

Depending on Linux distribution, this might either give you
an ImportError ("No module named distutils"), or give you errors
further down (Makefile not found, etc.)

These people often are not admin-type people (or even software
developers). Instead, they just want to use the application.
Of course, in Debian, they should use the Debian package if

> Isn't the split between runtime and development packages a common
> practice among distributors?

Most certainly. The remark wasn't specific to Debian. In fact, my
impression is that most of these requests are for Redhat.

I think a lot could be done if the ImportError was more specific,

py> import Tkinter
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in ?
ImportError: No module named Tkinter, install the python-tk package

This would require a Debian-specific Tkinter module, though
(e.g. in a python2.4/fallback directory).


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