I've started maintaining my Distutils to-do list again. In the absence of a proper bug database or issue tracker, this'll have to do. Please add any items I've missed; feel free to claim items for yourself if you can submit a patch. If you're already working on a patch, let me know so I can add you. If you see your name in a "delegated to" comment but you are unwilling/unable to do that task, let me know and I'll take you off.
Here's the list...
* I think fancy_getopt needs to get fancier to properly support the -I, -D, -l, -L, etc. options of "build_ext": need to be able to accumulate multiple options in a list, should be able to split a string on a given delimiter, probably want to specify if repetitions of the same option will accumulate or replace, etc.
* do the above options even work at all? seem to recall hearing reports of dismal failure, but I never looked into it [knowing how FancyGetopt works, there's no way these options can work: damn]
* think about how to support distribution-specific "configure" commands -- eg. how can they push option values (include/library directories, that sort of thing) onto the "build_ext" command?
* should/can the 'finalize_options()' methods be made more robust, so you can sensibly call them multiple times? this might be all that's necessary to enable option-pushing...
* interface for "help about some option" -- eg. --help-compiler to build_ext would list available compilers; --help-formats to "sdist" or "bdist" would list available distribution formats; ... [delegated to Rene Liebscher]
* write write write
* standard blurb for README files
EXTENSION BUILDING ------------------
* review and integrate cygwin patch from Rene Liebscher
* review/tweak bdist_rpm code from Harry Gebel (minor style issues, fix hardcoded directories)
* figure out why bdist_rpm doesn't work with RPM 2.x, and make it work if possible
EXTERNAL DEPENDENCIES ---------------------
* ??? do we need to implement autoconf in Python (shudder) ???
* if not, how to handle the case of "if Tk present, build with it" in PIL, or "define HAVE_STRFTIME if we have strftime()" in mxDateTime"?