[Distutils] ANNOUNCE: Distutils 0.8 released

Greg Ward gward@python.net
Tue, 11 Apr 2000 22:34:12 -0400

                     Python Distribution Utilities
                              release 0.8
                             April 11, 2000

The Python Distribution Utilities, or Distutils for short, are a
collection of modules that aid in the development, distribution, and
installation of Python modules.  (It is intended that ultimately the
Distutils will grow up into a system for distributing and installing
whole Python applications, but for now their scope is limited to module

The Distutils are a standard part of Python 1.6; if you are running 1.6,
you don't need to install the Distutils separately.  This release is
primarily so that you can add the Distutils to a Python 1.5.2
installation -- you will then be able to install modules that require
the Distutils, or use the Distutils to distribute your own modules.

More information is available at the Distutils web page:


and in the README.txt included in the Distutils source distribution.

You can download the Distutils from


Trivial patches can be sent to me (Greg Ward) at gward@python.net.
Larger patches should be discussed on the Distutils mailing list:

Here are the changes in release 0.8, if you're curious:

  * some incompatible naming changes in the command classes -- both the
    classes themselves and some key class attributes were renamed (this
    will break some old setup scripts -- see README.txt)

  * half-hearted, unfinished moves towards backwards compatibility with
    Python 1.5.1 (the 0.1.4 and 0.1.5 releases were done independently,
    and I still have to fold those code changes in to the current code)

  * added ability to search the Windows registry to find MSVC++
    (thanks to Robin Becker and Thomas Heller)

  * renamed the "dist" command to "sdist" and introduced the "manifest
    template" file (MANIFEST.in), used to generate the actual manifest

  * added "build_clib" command to build static C libraries needed by
    Python extensions

  * fixed the "install" command -- we now have a sane, usable, flexible,
    intelligent scheme for doing standard, alternate, and custom
    installations (and it's even documented!) (thanks to Fred Drake and
    Guido van Rossum for design help)

  * straightened out the incompatibilities between the UnixCCompiler and
    MSVCCompiler classes, and cleaned up the whole mechanism for
    compiling C code in the process

  * reorganized the build directories: now build to either "build/lib"
    or "build/lib.<plat>", with temporary files (eg. compiler turds) in

  * merged the "install_py" and "install_ext" commands into "install_lib"
    -- no longer any sense in keeping them apart, since pure Python
    modules and extension modules build to the same place

  * added --debug (-g) flag to "build_*" commands, and make that carry
    through to compiler switches, names of extensions on Windows, etc.

  * fixed many portability bugs on Windows (thanks to many people)

  * beginnings of support for Mac OS (I'm told that it's enough for the
    Distutils to install itself) (thanks to Corran Webster)

  * actually pay attention to the "--rpath" option to "build_ext"
    (thanks to Joe Van Andel for spotting this lapse)

  * added "clean" command (thanks to Bastien Kleineidam)

  * beginnings of support for creating built distributions: changes to
    the various build and install commands to support it, and added the
    "bdist" and "bdist_dumb" commands

  * code reorganization: split core.py up into dist.py and cmd.py,
    util.py into *_util.py

  * removed global "--force" option -- it's now up to individual
    commands to define this if it makes sense for them

  * better error-handling (fewer extravagant tracebacks for errors that
    really aren't the Distutils' fault

Greg Ward - just another Python hacker                  gward@python.net
All the world's a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.