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Python does have something like this, which is conda [0].

It allows specifying dependencies with much of the same freedom you mentioned, in an environment.yaml file and other config files, you can provide arbitrary build instructions via shell scripts, use a community led repository of feeds for stable and repeatable cross-platform builds of all libraries [1], generate the boilerplate automatically for many types of packages (not just Python) [2], compiled version specifics with build variants / "features", and you can use pip as the package installer inside a pip section in the conda yaml config file.

[0]: https://github.com/conda/conda [1]: http://conda-forge.org/#about [2]: https://conda.io/projects/conda-build/en/latest/source/resou...

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