[Distutils] API for finding plugins

Jim Fulton jim at zope.com
Sat Feb 11 23:27:46 CET 2006

Ian Bicking wrote:
> * At work we're using an environmental variable ("ACTIVE_SITE") which 
> changes sys.path (in sitecustomize) and the distutils installation 
> options.  This is like basing it on $HOME, but a bit more flexible 
> (since $HOME has a lot of meanings).

Note, fwiw: Zope 2 uses a similar approach.  ZOPE_HOME points to
a Zope software installation.  INSTANCE_HOME points to a Zope site.
Both are typically used to affect the Python path and to find other
information such as configuration and data files.

> Are there other ways we can identify the user's intended working set?  I 
> don't think environmental variables are easy to work with on Windows, 
> and it's a little opaque from a GUI user's perspective.  $HOME isn't 
> granular enough.  Multiple scripts can work, but I've found it 
> challenging to manage when the binaries in $PATH work, but potentially 
> with bad side-effects (the discipline of keeping working sets separated 
> isn't enforced, or even suggested by making it easier to do the right 
> thing).  Multiple scripts seems the most workable and transparent from 
> the point of view of a GUI user, and not particularly bad from the 
> perspective of a Posix command-line user either.

I don't really follow what you mean by multiple scripts.

> [The more I think about it, the more I think site-packages in its 
> entirety is pointless, distracting, and dangerous.  But I don't think a 
> PEP proposing its removal would be well received at this time ;) ]

+1 on both counts.


Jim Fulton           mailto:jim at zope.com       Python Powered!
CTO                  (540) 361-1714            http://www.python.org
Zope Corporation     http://www.zope.com       http://www.zope.org

More information about the Distutils-SIG mailing list