[Distutils] Installing large applications

Bob Ippolito bob at redivi.com
Tue Jun 15 17:31:18 EDT 2004

On Jun 15, 2004, at 9:02 AM, Flavio Codeco Coelho wrote:

>  I have been following this discussion for a long time and I am happy 
> to see that at least, there is general agreement about the fact that 
> distutils needs a lot of improvement to live up to Python's reputation 
> of a clear and straightforward (therefore efficient) developing 
> environment.
>  Following up on the opinion of Fred about the inability of distutils 
> to handle large applications, I would like to present my frustration 
> (as a newbie distutils user) with the default behavior for the 
> installation of a very simple application.
>  My example application consists of a bunch of py_modules (3 or 4 
> modules plus an executable script) and some datafiles. When setup.py 
> install is executed the main script is copied to the /usr/bin/ (which 
> is fine, although a symbolic link would suffice) is and the py_modules 
> are thrown in the site-packages directory, the data files are thrown 
> somewhere under the /usr directory. I don't know how this goes on 
> windows or other platforms.
>  I would hope the installation procedure would keep all the files 
> under a folder in site-packages named after the application name, 
> which is given in the setup.py. That would make is easier to manually 
> remove an application if necessary (I reckon distutils does not 
> support unistalls? please correct me if I am wrong).

You can do this by passing extra_path='YourAppName' to setup(...)

>  Maybe my frustrations are due to my lack of knowledge of distutils, 
> but the documentation available does not help a lot.
>  I also strongly believe that the distutils should incorporate the 
> functionality of python installers such as the py2exe and the mcmillan 
> installer, and provide a multi-platform solution to the deployment of 
> python apps.

It pretty much does.. that's what bdist_* is for.  py2exe is something 
entirely different, but it does have some integration with distutils 
IIRC.  distutils is primarily suited for deployment of python packages, 
not standalone applications.

>  I hope I have not offended anyone with my end-user point-of view, but 
> despite the technical chalenges involved, I think distutils should aim 
> for the ease of distribution available for commercial languages if 
> Python is to seriously compete for market share with them.

What commercial language(s) have some distribution tool built-in?  Why 
can't you use it with Python if you wanted to?

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