[Distutils] formencode as .egg in Debian ??

Paul Moore p.f.moore at gmail.com
Thu Nov 24 15:37:02 CET 2005

On 11/23/05, Phillip J. Eby <pje at telecommunity.com> wrote:
> Actually, I think the better long-term approach is more likely to be tools
> like easy_deb that wrap easy_install.  "Better" here meaning that it can
> save the system packager work, because it can handle finding and fetching
> and building in an automated way even for non-setuptools packages it has
> never seen before.  While there are occasionally some issues with projects
> that have unusual customizations to the distutils, those customizations
> would potentially give a system packager similar troubles anyway.

I have now made 3 attempts to write a message responding to this, and
got muddled each time. So I'm just going to try giving my key points,
unadorned. I can provide supporting discussion, and will do so if you
like, but I want to separate the threads first:

1. Windows is a special case here, as traditionally, Windows system
packages are provided by the project itself, whereas Linux
distributions have separate packaging groups who handle that outside
the project.

2. Eggs don't compete with system packagers. And yet projects such as
TurboGears and Kid are providing *only* eggs, and no bdist_wininst
packages. This is because it is *not possible* at present for projects
to provide system packages which wrap eggs. In other words, the rapid
take-up of eggs is killing bdist_wininst as a standard distribution
format, before a replacement is ready.

3. Easy_install hides this problem, to an extent. Because it *is* a
competitor to system packagers. You say that easy_deb wraps
easy_install in a Debian package - I don't see how that would work,
and regardless, I can't envision an equivalent for Windows. Also, the
same issue exists - it doesn't exist *yet*.

This is all transition. Assuming that ultimately eggs are the
standard, and system packager integration gets solved, there's no
problem. I can wait. (If I couldn't wait, I'd be obliged to get off my
backside and produce some code :-)) But I do think that projects
should be aware of the trade-offs, and I *don't* think they've been
clear up to now - that's why I'm writing this summary.

One example, then I'll stop. I was recently considering having a look
at Kid. I hadn't got round to it, but I now discover that Kid is only
distributed as an egg. So I'll forget Kid for now, until the
egg/system installer issues settle. Trying out Kid isn't important
enough to me to mix two packaging systems.

Fully-aware-that-I'm-a-minority-view-ly y'rs

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