[Distutils] A prefix option?

Jim Fulton jim at zope.com
Thu Feb 9 13:31:29 CET 2006

Phillip J. Eby wrote:
> At 02:42 PM 2/8/2006 -0800, Ben Bangert wrote:
>>I'm wondering if there's any plans for a prefix option, which
>>functions like the common makefile prefix option for where the lib/
>>bin dir will then be, etc. My main reason for asking is this blog
>>entry regarding setuptools installs:
> Rather than stop using setuptools, package authors should consult:
> http://peak.telecommunity.com/DevCenter/setuptools#what-your-users-should-know
> which has a (hopefully) comprehensive list of things that you may need or 
> want to inform your users about.  A --prefix option wouldn't have removed 
> the need for *any* of them, I'm afraid.  Note also that among the 
> installation options offered at:
> http://peak.telecommunity.com/DevCenter/EasyInstall#custom-installation-locations
> is the option to create a "virtual" Python installation, and the supplied 
> virtual-python.py script *does* accept a --prefix option, and would have 
> allowed him to do exactly what he wanted to do by simply using the 
> ~/bin/python created automatically by virtual-python.py.

I really don't think the virtual python approach is viable, at a minimum
because it doesn't work on windows.  It is also unacceptably heavy IMO.

I think we need a simple way to handle custom directories that is:

- cross platform

- doesn't require modifying the Python install

- allows chained/multile custom directories, which means the trick
   of putting eggs and scripts in the same directory doesn't work,

- is simple. :)

It appears that this has something to do with your plugin proposal.
I'll try to participate in that discussion to tease this out a bit more.


Jim Fulton           mailto:jim at zope.com       Python Powered!
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