[Distutils] Questions about distutils strategy

James C. Ahlstrom jim@interet.com
Wed, 08 Dec 1999 10:24:16 -0500

Tim Peters wrote:

> [James C. Ahlstrom]
> > Very interesting.  I didn't know that.  Probably neither
> > does the average Windows developer.
> They don't need to know it.  I was explaining an extreme.
> ...
> Again explaining an extreme.

Yes, understood.  Extremes are good for sharpening issues.

> > I think we may be kidding ourselves.  It is not a matter of "prefer".
> Sure it is.  DevStudio also has a menu entry to generate a makefile (of MS's
> odd nmake flavor).  I often set up personal projects using DevStudio, and
> then switch to a generated makefile so I can run overnight builds and tests
> from .bat scripts.

Yes, we write the makefiles by hand so we can build from
Korn shell scripts.  Microsoft's eccentric nmake format is a
constant annoyance.  But mostly Windows people stay in DevStudio.

> > And to top it off, you need on-line documentation for Windows
> > anyway, so you need DevStudio or equivalant even if you do
> > learn Distutils.
> Sorry, but I don't understand where this is coming from.

It means that even if I need a Unix build too, I usually develop in
DevStudio because of the on-line help.  But for small projects, I
develop on Linux because of the large setup annoyance of DevStudio.
In other words, I have a poor memory and like built-in help.

> As a WindowsPython Guy, I have one of five scenarios
> in mind for "distribution":

This is very useful because you have extended the discussion
from just compiling to distributing.

> 1) The audience is purely Windows developers...
> 2) The audience is purely Windows end users...
> 3) The audience is Python programmers "in general"...
> 4) The audience is Python end-users "in general"...
> 5) The audience is Python end-users "in general"...

Others have commented at length.  Suffice it to say I agree.

> > Distutils makes sense on Unix where things are done with
> > makefiles.  Why do we even care if Windows developers make
> > Python extensions in DevStudio?
> I don't care at all, provided they have no interest in sharing their work
> with non-Windows people.  If they do want to share, they need to do more
> work (their Windows binaries aren't going to run on a SPARC <wink>), and
> Distutils can help with that.

Yes, this is the most common case where DistUtils can help
in program development (as opposed to distribution).  If
only it were a more common case!