[Distutils] Package Meta-information Patch

Fred L. Drake, Jr. fdrake@acm.org
Mon, 17 Jan 2000 13:40:58 -0500 (EST)

Greg Ward writes:
 > About as far as I got was thinking "text files suck for size and
 > performance, and DB or dbm files might not be portable enough".

  They're not *bad* for size any more than page alignment in a dbm
database.  ;-)

 > This pretty much solves the practical side of "what to do about
 > concurrent access" -- in practice, it's not going to happen much, so
 > don't get too worried about it.  It doesn't sound very good for
 > performance, unless all you want is a list of packages installed -- that
 > should be pretty fast (you can get everything you need from a succession
 > of os.listdir() calls).

  Tools that need faster access during an operation can build
temporary databases to accelerate operation as needed, so I don't see
any problems here.  I wouldn't expect that to be needed too often.

 > What I'm a little leery about is using Python code as a data format.
 > It's attractive because we all know the syntax and don't have to write a
 > parser.  But using a general-purpose language for *such* a specific,
 > tightly-targeted task seems ... I dunno ... overkill-ish.  And I wonder
 > if there are security holes lurking in the concept of using code for
 > system catalog data.
 > Does anyone else share my reservations (which are vague, ill-defined,

  Yes.  This stuff should not require any exec or eval.  It might be
reasonable to use something like the .ini format; this can be handled
using ConfigParser.  This way we still don't need to write a parser.


Fred L. Drake, Jr.	  <fdrake at acm.org>
Corporation for National Research Initiatives