Currently I wanted to install the python-occ package and saw that they have switched to the conda installer. This package manager is not like pip only for python packages. With conda it's possible to install packages written in any language. So I gave it a try and installed anaconda. First time I installed as admin and somehow anaconda disabled the installed python. After some time I tried it again, but this time without sudo, and this worked quite good.
Conda is part of the anaconda-system, which is a full python enviroment shipping many frequently used packages (also packages we use in freecad: matplotlib, numpy, scipy, ...).
As I understand, Conda was created because the std python install tools are not suited for non-python installations. Conda installs compiled packages which are hosted in repositories. At the anconda cloud it's possible for everyone to host his packages.
Conda gives you also the possebility to create conda packages from pypi. This is the simplest way how packages can be created :
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conda skeleton pypi <packagename> # creates a so called recipe which consists of a meta.yaml and a build.sh # building the package: conda build <packagename>
so this is really simple and it shows how a conda recipe should look like. More complex packages like (boost, coin, ...) can be created with costum recipe.
All in all I have the feeling ana/conda could be the right thing for freecad-packages and for maintaining freecad it self. It supports all platforms. Many packages are already available. It is simple to create new packages. FreeCAD addons could be added very easily (even with c++ libraries)...
At the moment I don't see any show-stoppers, but I would like to hear any opinions on this. Especially I would like to know how conda compares to apt and other package manager. Is it possible to have one package-manager for all platforms??? Or will this bring in dependencies issues?
There is much documentation for conda. For building recipes this site was helpful for me.
conda build tutorials