[Distutils] Configuration etc.

Konrad Hinsen hinsen@cnrs-orleans.fr
Fri, 18 Dec 1998 16:28:21 +0100

I don't claim that I read everything that all of you posted on the
topic of retrieving and storing the configuration information from
the Python build process - I also have to work in between ;-)
But it seems to me that this discussion misses the point, or at
least deals with a minor implementation detail.

The build phase of the installation process (needed only for source
installation of extension modules, of course) should use a much
higher-level interface to the DistUtil core than just the information
from the Makefile. As a package provider, I want to write something

   from DistUtils import compileExtensionModule
   compileExtensionModule("foo", ["foomodule.c", "bar.c"])

Everything lower-level is an implementation detail and not worth
10 KB of discussion ;-)

A DistUtils implementation for Python 1.5.x on Unix will have to parse
the configuration file or Makefile from the Python build, using some
module much like the one posted by Fred. For other platforms, this
kind of information may not be available, or not necessary, or
useless. For later Python versions, everything might be different. So
I see no reason at all to store such specific data in a documented
standard library module, whatever it is called. It may even be better
not to store it at all and parse the original input every time the
information is needed.

And now for something completely different: implementation strategy.
At some point we will have to move from discussing to programming,
after all. It seems to me that the whole DistUtils project divides
nicely into two almost independent subunits:

- building binaries from source code

- installing Python modules and binary extension modules

So maybe we should create two "task forces" that work on these
subtopics, of course communicating as necessary.

That said, I'll disappear for a two-week Christmas vacation, hoping
that the discussion during these two weeks won't fill up all my disk

Konrad Hinsen                            | E-Mail: hinsen@cnrs-orleans.fr
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