On 26 May 2000, Guido van Rossum said:
Modifyable data needs to go in a per-user directory, even on Windows, outside the Python tree.
But static data needs to go in the same directory as the module that uses it. (We use this in the standard test package, for example.)
What about the Distutils system config file (pydistutils.cfg)? This is something that should only be modified by the sysadmin, and sets the site-wide policy for building and installing Python modules. Does this belong in the code directory? (I hope so, because that's where it goes now...)
(Under Unix, users can have a personal Distutils config file that overrides the system config (~/.pydistutils.cfg), and every module distribution can have a setup.cfg that overrides both of them. On Windows and Mac OS, there are only two config files: system and per-distribution.)