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

Ronald Oussoren ronaldoussoren at
Mon May 17 06:30:17 EDT 2004

On 17-mei-04, at 12:18, Moore, Paul wrote:

> 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). is for MacOS X. The big problem with is 
that it can *only* be used to install application, Apple doesn't 
include an application to uninstall software.

> 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...

I'll let others answer this question, I've never used the bdist_* 
commands (other than bdist_dumb).


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