[Distutils] Newbie questions about setuptools

Phillip J. Eby pje at telecommunity.com
Wed Jun 20 23:56:11 CEST 2007

At 01:35 PM 6/20/2007 -0500, Edward Ream wrote:
>>Sorry, you can't not list the modules and still install correctly 
>>or build correct binary distributions.
>Ok.  I'm using sdist, not bdist_x.  I assume that doesn't matter?

It matters if you want someone to be able to *install* your 
package.  Most bdist_* commands are based on "build" and "install", 
which both need to know the modules, if you're installing any 
standalone modules.  They also need to know about the packages, but 
it appears that you don't actually *have* any packages.

>>What is it that you intend to distribute?  Is it one package called 
>>'leo' with a bunch of  subpackages?  Or what?  Is everything in 
>>there really a package?  (e.g. why is 'doc' a package?)
>It seems my cluelessness has managed to confuse even you.  As you no 
>doubt have guessed, this is not easy for me.
>I'm not sure of the terminology, so please be patient.  What I want 
>to do is distribute Leo (a pure Python application, packaged as a 
>single entity--a package?) ,

A packaged entity is a "project" - the physical distribution of that 
entity is a "distribution".

A "package" is a directory with an __init__.py and zero or more other 
.py files.  Currently, for example, you have a package called 'src', 
containing various modules.  If you had tried "from src import leo", 
or "import src.leo", for example, your attempt at using your 
easy_install-ed leo would have worked.  (Of course, everything after 
that point would likely have failed.)

>consisting of *all* the files under cvs management in leo directory 
>and subdirectories of the leo directory that contain a cvs folder.

The distutils and setuptools do not install "files" - they install 
Python modules, scripts, extensions, and packages.

It appears to me as though you do not have a project that can be 
meaningfully installed or distributed using the distutils or 
setuptools, as you have a collection of directories containing files, 
along with some directories with modules and scripts.  In other 
words, more of an "application" than a "distribution".

The distutils and setuptools can only support "applications" that are 
composed solely of Python modules, scripts, extensions, and packages 
(including *read-only* data files inside the packages).  They can't 
install arbitrary trees of files, which unfortunately is what you have.

You would need to reorganize your code in such a way that it does not 
contain any directories that you expect the user to modify, for 
example.  Sample configuration files can still be included as package 
data, but your program would have to explicitly read them and copy 
them to a runtime configuration location.

To put it another way, disutils and setuptools are designed to 
install *immutable* collections of code and data.  At runtime, your 
program can read from the immutable code or data, but any writable 
runtime data must be placed somewhere else.  Otherwise, you can't 
install a single copy of the project for use by all users on a 
system, nor is there any way to safely uninstall or upgrade it.

>>Your sitecustomize implies that you have a bunch of modules under 'src' --
>>in which case you should list them in py_modules, and include a 
>>"package_dir={'': 'src'}" along with a bunch of other 
>>tricky-to-get-right things.
>Ok.  I can do that.  Are you implying that this is a 
>less-than-recommended approach?


More information about the Distutils-SIG mailing list