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I have a small project that requires a third-party module that's rarely updated (once every other year or so) and not maintained by any package management system. The context, here, is cognitive science & research, the third party module is for linking proprietary hardware to custom scripting, in the house project, potentially, may end up seeing wider (eventually open source) use within cog. psych so I want to plan for distribution.

Can anyone poke holes in or thumbs up this approach:

#!/usr/bin/env python

from distutils.core import setup

try:
    import third_party_package
    install_packages = ['in_house_package']
except ImportError:
    print "Warning: 'third_party_package' not found in PYTHON_PATH, installing version in_house_package v. <VERSION>"
    install_packages = ['in_house_package', 'in_house_package.third_party_package']

setup(
    name='InHousePackage', 
    version = '0.1', 
    description = 'A framework for building psychological experiments in Python', 
    author = 'me', 
    author_email = 'my_address', 
    url = 'a local git', 
    packages=install_packages,
    requires = ['numpy']
    )
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have any plans of moving to python3 in the future? \$\endgroup\$ – shuttle87 Dec 13 '14 at 23:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ For this project, no, alas; the third_party_package is critical and will, almost certainly, never be updated to Python 3. \$\endgroup\$ – Jonline Dec 15 '14 at 13:42
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A few small comments:

  1. The error message looks wrong to me.

    This is what the logic looks like to me:

    if (third party package is installed):
        install(in-house package)
    else:
        install(in-house package)
        install(in-house variant of third-party package)
    

    but the printed warning tells me that the in-house package isn’t installed. Shouldn’t it tell me the third-party package isn’t installed?

  2. An ImportError doesn’t necessarily mean a module isn’t installed.

    It just indicates any error when the module was imported. For example, if I have a file foo.py that contains:

    import bar
    

    and no module bar.py, I get an ImportError when trying to import foo, even though the foo file exists:

    >>> import foo
    Traceback (most recent call last):
      File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
      File "foo.py", line 1, in <module>
        import bar
    ImportError: No module named bar
    

    You can jump through hoops with import tools, or check the error message of the ImportError. That may or may not be something worth worrying about; just remember that this edge case is there.

  3. Trivial nitpicks.

    • I’m sure this is just an artefact of posting on CR, and it isn’t actually called in_house_package, but you’ve misspelt it in the error message.
    • When specifying keyword arguments to a function (such as setup()), it’s common to omit the spaces around the equals sign.
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