Tea, a new frictionless paradigm in software packaging

The developer behind the OSX package manager homebrew has a new project: Tea.

It is an interesting project that is trying to make software packaging more frictionless, to make it easier to embed the necessary instructions to get the required software to run your script or notebook than not.

Some concepts sound familiar from anyone who has looked at spack, which is the build-from-source package manager we’re using at ACCESS-NRI for the model build system, but the goals, and therefore the approach, are quite different. I think spack is better suited to deploying at an infrastructure level, as there is a lot of up-front configuration and work to understand it’s complexities, but it is very configurable and customisable and designed to play on HPC platforms. It seems tea is trying to remove barriers and make it as easy and simple as possible to just get the software you need where you need it.

This could fit better with scientists trying to share code and notebooks, and potentially the analysis side of ACCESS-NRI (@rbeucher?). The GitHub repo for the command line interface outlines some intriguing use-cases in the README (the front page)

I meant to say, there is also a crypto-currency angle to the package manager, in an effort to capture developer effort and reward it. I am skeptical of all crypto, and wouldn’t personally engage with that side of it, but it doesn’t seem to be a requirement to use the system as far as I can see.