[Distutils] Re: cleaning up packages

Thomas Heller thomas.heller@ion-tof.com
Tue, 6 Jun 2000 21:21:18 +0200

> Here's why I think it is worth the effort.
> Clearly folks "must" deinstall old versions of module distributions before
> installing new ones.  Neglecting this task risks picking up old,
> incompatible bits from prior versions that may render the module
> distribution unusable.  Case in point: Numeric changing it's include and
> lib directory names every other version (numeric/multiarray.so vs.
> Numeric/multiarray.so), or a .so or .py module that gets moved between
> submodules in a package.
> Some deinstaller is needed, whether OS-supported or Python-supported.
> (<grin>Either that, or we adopt the MSWin strategy of users completely
> reinstalling Python when the blue-screen frequency goes high. :-)

MSWin users usually reinstall the *operating system* when the
blue-screen frequency goes high ;-)

Just for information: Windows has NO OS-supported package manager.
(This was at least true up to Win98/NT4.0. There is a windows
installer service in Win2000, but I have not yet looked at it)

The usual way an application is deinstalled is as follows:
- At installation time, an uninstaller program is installed,
usually in the application directory.
- Uninstallation information is written into a data-file
(this is a text-file for WISE, a binary file for InstallShield)
- Some entries are written into the registry, so that the application
shows up in Control Panel->Add/Remove programs, and which will start
the uninstaller to deinstall the program.