[Distutils] Questionnaire: Why do you use setuptools?
david at ar.media.kyoto-u.ac.jp
Wed Apr 22 03:54:30 CEST 2009
Zooko O'Whielacronx wrote:
> Many of the authors of these packages and the other packages like
> these are not going to go to much, if any, effort to change their
> tools to support the new Distutils.
agreed on this.
> To the degree to which new authors of new projects which use the new
> Distutils can get, for free, compatibility with projects like these
> ones that already use setuptools, then everyone can benefit.
The current distutils needs to be improved, this at least seems to be
consensual. From the Pycon summary (I was not there, just using the wiki
and Tarek emails as a reference), it seems that some things from
setuptools will be incorporated in concept if not in code (install
requirements, better extensibility, etc...). The technical details are
not all set, but they will be at some point.
The problem with a new "Distutils2" 100 % compatible with the current
one is that it is impossible to do without recreating all the things
which it does wrong, because distutils has some serious design issues
which cannot be solved without breaking things, and some packages depend
on distutils internals quite a bit - thing about all the ones which are
broken with setuptools for example.
Doing something which is incompatible and requires new scripts from
scratch is not an option either. Something which could convert simple
setup.py files to the new distutils could be more reasonable (a bit like
2to3), and I think it is doable for a significant proportion of current
packages, through an extended set of static metadata. Such a proposal is
being worked on (http://wiki.python.org/moin/Distutils/StaticMetadata);
I think the suggestion of making those metadata independent of distutils
design (being more high level and independent of distutils commands)
should be given serious thought. It can be done gradually, too.
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