On Fri, Mar 4, 2011 at 13:40, Eric Firing <efiring@hawaii.edu> wrote:
On 03/04/2011 10:30 AM, Jouni K. Seppänen wrote:
> We have an open pull request for fixing some problems in the make.osx
> file:
> https://github.com/matplotlib/matplotlib/pull/17
> I think it's otherwise fine, but it changes the mpl_install target by
> removing the --prefix argument. Personally I would prefer to drop the
> --prefix, but this is originally John's file and he may have had a good
> reason to install in a non-standard directory. Any comments?

I presume a user might want to be able to build and test a development
version without replacing a production version.

What is the rationale for removing the --prefix argument?  It doesn't
prevent one from installing in the standard location.


My rationale for removing the --prefix argument was that a user might want to compile matplotlib from source on MacOSX instead of install it from a package (assuming such a package exists). As it stands now, the make.osx file has some configuration at the top and then states that you shouldn't need to configure past a point.

I've recently gone from relying on Enthought to compiling the packages I use from source. All of the other packages (numpy/scipy, ipython, PIL, pyserial) install by default on the site-packages relevant to the python version used in the install. Removing the --prefix argument would bring the same functionality to matplotlib on OSX. This default could be modified by developers that would rather install in a test environment.

As I mention in the pull request, though, I'm still unsure if the dependencies are compile-time or not. I've left the PREFIX intact after installing into the production site-packages and I haven't had any issues so far. The reason the PREFIX is needed, as README.osx explains, is because OSX can have different types of zlib, png and freetype installed on the system.

If this change blocks the pull request from going through, though, I could just revert that change and open up another one once we've cleared up any doubts about what the rationale for having the --prefix in the first place are.

-- Fernando