[Distutils] What is needed by an uninstall command to be useful ?

Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams ivazqueznet at gmail.com
Mon Jun 16 18:31:00 CEST 2008

On Tue, 2008-06-17 at 00:33 +0900, David Cournapeau wrote:
>     An uninstall command is a long-time wanted feature of distutils. I 
> was wondering why it was not implemented: what does it need to do to be 
> useful ? AFAIK, make uninstall in autotools simply removes currently 
> installed files, with currently refering to the current configured value 
> of prefix and all. Isn't this enough  (I am interested in a 'pure' 
> distutils command, not a setuptools one) ? What would be the minimum 
> semantics needed for an uninstall command ?

One of the big differences between autotools and distutils is that in
autotools the destination path is set at *build* time (ignoring the
not-often directly-used DESTDIR make variable, of course), but in
distutils/setuptools the destination path is set at *install* time. IMO
this makes an uninstall option slightly less useful, since installing in
an alternate root isn't really as rare as overriding the path chosen by

Having said that, yes, it could potentially be done so that it takes the
same argument as install for overriding the root, but I get the distinct
feeling that people are going to forget to specify the root on uninstall
quite often, thereby removing the module installed in the system
location instead.

Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams <ivazqueznet at gmail.com>

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