[Distutils] Was I asleep?

Fred L. Drake, Jr. fdrake@beopen.com
Fri, 25 Aug 2000 23:04:09 -0400 (EDT)

Greg Ward writes:
 > On 25 August 2000, Mark W. Alexander said:
 > > And finally....Documentation. What's with perl and LaTeX2HTML?
 > Perl's not so bad, it's LaTeX2HTML.  You can extend it by writing Perl

  LaTeX2HTML is *really* bad to deal with.  Ross refuses to document
the API used in creating extensions because then he'd have to freeze
the API -- obviously legacy code isn't worth much to him, or it would
be frozen, or at least change in more planned ways.  So the reality is
that "anything goes" for extensions which makes it even harder than to
work with a changing but documented API.
  And we do some pretty serious under-the-hood stuff.

 > subroutines -- not so bad if you know Perl, *except* that the interface
 > is bizarre, undocumented, and subject to random changes.  I think it
 > boils down to this: to process the Python docs, you need to be using a
 > specific beta version of LaTeX2HTML from mid-1998, which in turn
 > necessitates using Perl 5.005 -- L2H, or at least this specific beta
 > from mid-1998, bombs under Perl 5.6.

  To use the docs and tools from the CVS repository, you need
LaTeX2HTML 99.2 beta 8; I'm not sure what the restrictions on the Perl
version are, but 5.6 works.
  On the other hand, there are still things that don't work with the
newer version of LaTeX2HTML that used to work.  Like the list of
module synopses at the beginnings of chapters in the library
reference, and the Module Index.  I'll get these working by the time
Python 2.0 is released.

 > Alas, there is no guide to the internals.  ;-(  Use The Source, Luke.

  Now, didn't I tell you you needed to write this?  ;)

 > Spend some time with bdist_dumb; it's much simpler than bdist_rpm, and
 > was mainly written 1) to demonstrate that built distributions were
 > indeed possible, and 2) as an example to authors of new bdist_*
 > commands.

  I hope it's well commented!


Fred L. Drake, Jr.  <fdrake at beopen.com>
BeOpen PythonLabs Team Member