Michael Muller writes:
itself is readable), and because it was the only format that I was _absolutely certain_ would be available on every platform that would be using distutils.
No, it's fair to assume that the entire standard library is available. That makes available ConfigParser, rfc822, shlib, and xmllib. Writing a parser *is* an option, because it can be incorporated into distutils, but I don't see any need to do so with so many already-debugged modules available.
Also, there's the fact that with Python code, the interpreter is written in C - it will run significantly faster than any code that could be written in Python.
And the first malevolent packager to add a "while 1" loop to his package metadata breaks the whole system. If performance is really an issue, C and Java implementations can be built as needed.
-- Fred L. Drake, Jr. <fdrake at acm.org> Corporation for National Research Initiatives