[I've removed python-checkins from the list of recipients.]
Anthony Baxter writes:
The problem is (for me) distinguishing between "Installing" and "Distributing". I'm not sure why there's two separate documents.
Greg and I talked about these documents a fair bit when they were first being developed, so I think I'm fairly safe in describing our intentions of the time.
"Installing" should be accessible without any knowledge of the Python language. This is for system administrators who need to know how software is installed and managed on their systems.
"Distributing" is for people who write setup.py scripts or otherwise work with distutils from Python. This is very specifically for people more knowledgable regarding Python and the specific software packaged using the distutils.
There should probably be a bit more in the library ref about distutils - there's a bunch of useful material in the package, and it'd be a shame for people to re-invent the wheel again and again because they don't know it's there. For instance, the Compiler support could easily be used by some of the Python-based build tools.
That's a possibility, and not without merit. Given the general difficulty people have in locating information about distutils, I'm not inclined to point to still more places. Would perhaps a somewhat more elaborate description in the distutils section of the library reference, with interesting index entries, be sufficient to drive people to the right places within the distutils-specific documents?