[Distutils] Appears bdist_rpm completely broken

Greg Ward gward@python.net
Fri Sep 22 21:30:01 2000

On 21 September 2000, Uche Ogbuji said:
> We just found out that this is indeed not the problem.  The problem was
> that RPM wasn't getting the right lists of installed files, so it was
> getting confused about where things were.

...which probably has something to do with your highly customized build

> You ain't seen nothing yet!  We fixed a whole bunch of our additional
> packaging problems with more distutils subclassing.  Check out
> ftp://ftp.fourthought.com/pub/4Suite/4Suite-

...OK, I'll download this one once I've got SWIG installed.  *Then* I'll 
look into your sordid mess!

> We'd love to hear any feedback about our distutils efforts.  We hardly
> thought we were doing anything extraordinary, but distutils does seem to
> have several limitations as is that we had to sub-class to get around. 
> Maybe we were trying too hard in some cases.

No build system can cover every possibility out of the box, that's why
they have to be extensible.  Distutils covers pure Python modules,
vanilla Python extensions, SWIGged Python extensions, and C libraries
that are statically linked into Python extensions pretty nicely (if I do
say so myself).  Anything outside of that box and you've got to write
custom code.

(The theory was that Python programmers would prefer to write such
custom code in Python, rather than cobbling together a nightmarish mix
of m4, shell, and make that a traditional Autoconf/Automake system
implies -- and of course, doing it all in Python makes it portable to
other platforms.  In practice, it turns out that extending a large
object framework requires a bit more in-depth knowledge than cranking
out a few more Makefile targets.  Well, if nothing else it's an
interesting experiment, and I think it's fairly successful.)

Anyways, I already got some feedback from Mike about refactoring the
install_lib command for easier extensibility -- and in fact I'm about to
checkin a change that should help there.  See my next post.

Greg Ward                                      gward@python.net