[Distutils] formencode as .egg in Debian ??

Phillip J. Eby pje at telecommunity.com
Thu Nov 24 00:12:11 CET 2005

At 10:07 PM 11/23/2005 +0100, Martin v. Löwis wrote:
>Phillip J. Eby wrote:
>>I try to use very long names for options that can have damaging effects 
>>if used indiscriminately.  A project that's installed the "old-fashioned 
>>way" (which is what this does, apart from adding .egg-info) is hard to 
>>uninstall and may overwrite other projects' files.  So, it is only safe 
>>to use if the files are being managed by some external package manager, 
>>and it further only works for a single installed version at a time.  So 
>>the name is intended to advertise these facts, and to discourage people 
>>who are just reading the option list from trying it out to see what it 
>>does.  :)
>And that is indeed a fine principle. The option would only occur
>inside debian/rules (which is the Makefile to build the deb file),
>so users would never need to type it manually (except for the DD
>creating debian/rules).
>My request would be that the option is stable in its meaning,
>e.g. if there is a need to extend/change its semantics, a different
>option is introduced (unless it is certain that existing Debian
>packages would continue to build correctly under the new meaning).

Since this option exists only to provide a backward-compatible layout for 
external package managers, I can't see how it would change in terms of 
layout.  I can imagine that across different versions, I might provide a 
different set of warnings, however.  For example, it seems to me I might 
want to have this option check for existing files prior to installation, 
and abort if any are found.  This seems like a good thing to do since 
external packaging uses would likely be run against a clean target or put 
into a temporary directory anyway.

I'm also debating whether this option should also require the --record 
option, since there might otherwise be no way for an external packaging 
tool to know which files and directories belong to the installed package.

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