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

David Cournapeau david at ar.media.kyoto-u.ac.jp
Tue Jun 17 14:19:07 CEST 2008

Ben Finney wrote:
> That's what the Debian packaging system would do when installing a
> Python package. What would you have different?

I don't understand what you are getting at. Of course the packaging 
system would install in /usr - which is exactly why a user should not 
install anything there to avoid clashing with the package manager.

> The question that seems inconsistently addressed is: What should
> happen when installing (onto a Debian system) via distutils a Python
> package that *isn't* packaged yet for Debian?

Personally, I install everything into $HOME/local through stow (I don't 
have admin privileges at my lab). If it was meant to be system wide, I 
would install it in /usr/local instead of $HOME/local. I think this is 
pretty standard, no ?

To come back at the uninstall command: the protection of the OS sounds 
good enough to me. If things are installed system-wide, I expect the 
user knows what he is doing. If the user change prefix, I also expect 
him to change things (most 'casual' python users I have met do not 
change the prefix at all, not that I claim any knowledge on typical 
kinds of python users).

Even if I am wrong, I am not quite sure what could be done about it 
anyway (generally, you are not supposed to build things as 
root/privileged user, only install/uninstall is; uninstalling something 
without prefixing is not more dangerous than installing without prefixing).



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