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pip should translate the most common error messages into plain english #3573

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glyph opened this Issue Mar 17, 2016 · 2 comments

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glyph commented Mar 17, 2016

As described in #942, the most common problem new users have with pip is that they don't have a C compiler installed. The messages telling them this are platform-specific and unhelpful.

I realize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution here, because setup.py can get up to arbitrary nastiness, but if pip could at least translate the most common errors I am confident that its hit rate would be more like 99%/1% than 80%/20%.

So, if you can't find vcvarsall.bat, or if you see the text from xcode indicating that the EULA hasn't been agreed to yet, or cc is not found, pip should detect the platform and print a helpful message like "please run xcode-select --install" or "download a free version of visual studio here" or "apt-get install build-essential python-dev".

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tiran Aug 24, 2016

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Missing header files is also a common problem. The actual error message is usually hidden in the middle of a lot of text.

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tiran commented Aug 24, 2016

Missing header files is also a common problem. The actual error message is usually hidden in the middle of a lot of text.

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pradyunsg Nov 3, 2017

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As I understand, post PEP 517, printing nice error messages about built tools would be a responsibility of the backend?

I do think that this is something setuptools should print a nice message for as on today.

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pradyunsg commented Nov 3, 2017

As I understand, post PEP 517, printing nice error messages about built tools would be a responsibility of the backend?

I do think that this is something setuptools should print a nice message for as on today.

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