[Sorry for jumping in rather abruptly; I've been busy moving to and from the UK recently...]
Hey, I was smirking when I said that. The whole point of having some wildcard support in the Distutils MANIFEST format is that people don't need to use 'find', or a separate "make_manifest" script to generate it: they just type a few lines and it works. You and Marc-André have come up with some clever ideas that will allow people to type even fewer lines in some circumstances, at the expense of more complexity in the code.
My two pennies (with a bit of luck I'll comment on something you recognize):
Manifest files should be as explicit as possible. I.e., wildcards should only be allowed in a preprocessor tool for generating the initial manifest file. The reason for this is simply that you don't want to accidentally ship your boss' latest hate mail to you, because you accidentally saved it in the source directory :) (so, I prefer the 'make_manifest' approach)
As for 'find', I am still, extremely slowly, working on Python replacements for the most common Unix/GNU utilities. It would be kind of nifty to have a 'find' module written so generically, using keyword parameters, that you could use if from your own Python scripts:
User = os.environ["USER"] Edits = posixcmd.find("/src", perm="-u+w", name="*.c", type="f", user=User) if Edits == : print "You can go home now, %s. See you tomorrow." % User else: print "You need to check in the following files %s:" % User for Edit in Edits: print "\t%s" % Edit