[Distutils] Brewing controversy over header file installation

Mark W. Alexander mwa@gate.net
Fri Sep 15 10:05:01 2000

On Thu, 14 Sep 2000, Greg Ward wrote:

> I disagree: site-packages should be for Python modules and extensions.
> If we have to install C headers and libraries -- and I suspect we
> probably do -- then they should find their own home.  On Unix, perhaps
> another directory under <exec-prefix>/lib/python2.0, but I'm not sure
> what to call it that makes it clear these are for *C* programming, not
> Python programming.  (Granted it's the specialized domain of C
> programming for developing Python extensions, but still.)

I disagree as well. To vastly over-simplify, why would a python
package be installing headers and libraries for C only? Just
because someone is installing stuff to help them code python,
doesn't mean they want to load everything necessary for C
development. This is why the bdist stuff distributes compiled
libraries, so the installer doesn't have to deal with rebuilding.

So, if someone wants to provide C interfaces, it should be done
seperate from the python interfaces, obviously with the python
package dependent on the C libraries. The C interface should 
also have seperate run-time and development sub-packages, so 
most people, including those using the python package would 
only require the run-time. For example,you have gkt+, gtk+-devel,
and python-pygtk. python-pygtk would require gkt+, but not

I think getting distutils involved with C headers and (C only)
libraries is going beyond it's scope without good cause.

Mark Alexander