[Distutils] easy_install -f confusion

Ian Bicking ianb at colorstudy.com
Fri Jan 4 18:19:41 CET 2008

Phillip J. Eby wrote:
> At 06:31 PM 1/3/2008 -0600, Ian Bicking wrote:
>> Jeff Hammel and myself were going over a problem with -f seemingly being
>> ignored in easy_install, and it took us a while to realize that you have
>> to do something like "easy_install -f 'url1 url2 ...'", and you can't do
>> "easy_install -f url1 -f url2".
>> It's literally been years that I've been unaware of this, and confused
>> by the results.  I think easy_install should give an error if you
>> provide multiple -f's (or make it work if you do so).
> easy_install inherits this issue from the distutils -- i.e., it uses 
> distutils argument parsing, which doesn't support this.  It's a bit of a 
> hack that it supports positional arguments at all.  :(
> In some alternate universe in which I have the funding (and therefore 
> time) to actually work on setuptools 0.7 and "nest", this and many other 
> issues would certainly be fixable.

The attached patch gives a helpful error message if you give multiple -f 
options.  I used sys.argv; I imagine there might be a more proper way to 
get the unparsed arguments, but I admit I didn't look too closely.

Obviously there are more correct solutions to this, but this addresses 
what I think is a substantial usability issue.

Ian Bicking : ianb at colorstudy.com : http://blog.ianbicking.org
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