Comparing/Using Conda with Debian

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Comparing/Using Conda with Debian

Steffen Möller
Hello,

On an project-internal mailing list the thread "Conda vs Debian"
evolved. Sam kindly reminded us to discuss this publicly. So, here you
go, issues raised were

  * interaction with industry-standard non-free software

     + Intel compilers and libraries

     + NVidia drivers and libraries

  * multi-version installations

     + upstream defines what is stable to them

     + drive of users to use the very latest versions vs more
conservative adoption of library versions by developers

   * QA and CI and ...

   * perpetual vs backporting

Please don't hold back. The topic of the initial thread asked why Debian
packaging is fun. Conda may not be the best possible answer, but let
this thread nonetheless enlight ourselves.

Steffen

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Re: Comparing/Using Conda with Debian

Mo Zhou
Hi Steffen,

Thanks for moving the thread out. Please allow me to repeat some of
my points here:

On 2019-07-11 10:53, Steffen Möller wrote:
> On an project-internal mailing list the thread "Conda vs Debian"
> evolved. Sam kindly reminded us to discuss this publicly. So, here you
> go, issues raised were
>
>  * interaction with industry-standard non-free software
>
>     + Intel compilers and libraries
>
>     + NVidia drivers and libraries

To some extent this overlaps with some of the "difficulties in
deep learning framework packaging". Many serious users need
the performance improvement brought by the non-free blobs,
but we Debian always have trouble dealing with these blobs.
We don't have control over them, we became passive once
something goes wrong with them.

So my personal opinion is not to touch these legally
problematic stuff anymore. We do keep providing a solid
base system to the world, on top of which business groups
can do whatever they want with non-free blobs. If some
software upstream doesn't have the intention to be well
integrated into distributions, why do we bother packaging
them? Why not just leave the work to the business groups
such as conda.

Apart from the non-free & performance stuff, as a conda
user I still have some reasons to use conda instead of
python packages provided by Debian:

1. conda doesn't require root permission. This helps
   non-privileged users alot.

2. conda's python environment management

3. conda is distribution-agnostic. I can retain the same
   python environment with conda across different machines
   with different systems.

The question is, what can we do to improve Debian, if
we see it appropriate?

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Re: Comparing/Using Conda with Debian

Tomas Pospisek ML
In reply to this post by Steffen Möller
Am 11.07.19 um 06:53 schrieb Steffen Möller:

> On an project-internal mailing list the thread "Conda vs Debian"
> [etc.]

What's Conda?
*t