[Distutils] DistUtils requirements

Konrad Hinsen hinsen@cnrs-orleans.fr
Thu, 10 Dec 1998 15:53:03 +0100

Hi everybody,

it's nice to see this SIG starting work; about a year ago, I proposed
something similar in c.l.p and there was little interest and even less
willingness to invest time into such a project. And then I didn't have
enough time, meaning I never did anything that could be called an
implementation. However, I did have a rather clear idea of what I
wanted, with a few question marks. Many of the features I had in mind
are already listed on Greg's requirements list, so I'll restrict
myself to what's missing.

The model I wanted to imitate was RPM, which offers three features
that are not on the current requirements list:

- Version control, i.e. the possibility to update installed packages
  easily with some sanity checks (no "downgrade" unless explicitly

- Dependence checking. This is particularly important for fine-grained
  packages (i.e. many small interdependent packages that are maintained
  independently), as it makes sure that everything works well together.

- Package installation via FTP/HTTP from a server. That may seem like
  a minor convenience, but once you realize how many system administrators
  don't know how to use FTP, it gains importance...

And now for the question marks:

- Compilation on non-Unix platforms. I couldn't find out whether this is
  doable at all in an automatic way on all platforms; Windows compilers
  in particular seem to be oriented towards interactive code development
  rather than batch-mode compilation.

- Dependence checking and configuration for non-Python libraries.
  For example, finding out whether Tk is installed and how to
  link with it.

Does Perl packaging deal with any of these points, and if yes, how?

Konrad Hinsen                            | E-Mail: hinsen@cnrs-orleans.fr
Centre de Biophysique Moleculaire (CNRS) | Tel.: +33-
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