Strong and weak points of distutils 1 Was: [Distutils] thoughtson distutils 1 & 2

Moore, Paul Paul.Moore at
Mon May 17 06:18:46 EDT 2004

From: Ronald Oussoren
> On 15-mei-04, at 0:23, Lars Immisch wrote:
>> From Bob:
>>> Not all operating systems have a usable package management system 
>>> (Win32, Mac OS X, probably others).
>> What's wrong with and/or PackageMaker?

> Both are installers, not package management systems. There is no public 
> interface for listing which packages are installed and uninstalling 
> packages, let alone dependency management.

Hmm. I'm not sure I see what you're saying here. If you're saying that a
"usable package management system" needs to support a "public interface"
for listing which packages are installed, uninstalling packages, and
dependency management (which you'd need to define more clearly) then
Windows certainly does have one (albeit a bit primitive).

Applications which wish to participate in the standard "Add/Remove Programs"
interface have to register certain registry keys, so to some extent that
would count as a "public interface". Listing & uninstall only, there's no
dependency management, but it's a start. And it's what the current
bdist_wininst uses, so it's supported by distutils right now.

What, specifically, do you need the OS to provide, and why? What real
problem exists with the current system? (At least in the context of
the "build a standard OS package" commands, like bdist_wininst, bdist_rpm,
etc). The only major issue I see is dependency management, and, personally,
I'm happy to treat this as a documentation issue (package X documents that
it relies on package Y, version a.b or later, and package Z, version c.d).
Of course, I don't want automatic downloading of dependencies, uninstalling
of dependencies when a package is uninstalled, etc, which maybe others do...


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