[Distutils] [Python-Dev] Capsule Summary of Some Packaging/Deployment Technology Concerns

Phillip J. Eby pje at telecommunity.com
Thu Mar 20 00:10:00 CET 2008

At 05:15 PM 3/19/2008 -0500, Jeff Rush wrote:
>Phillip J. Eby wrote:
> > At 03:57 AM 3/19/2008 -0500, Jeff Rush wrote:
> >> Are you open to giving certain others patch view/commit privileges to
> >> setuptools?
> >
> > Jim Fulton has such already.  I'm open to extending that to others who
> > have a good grasp of the subtleties involved.
> >
> > Truthfully, if we can just get 0.6 put to bed, I could probably open up
> > the trunk a lot wider.
>What is needed to put 0.6 to bed?  How can we help accelerate this?

Get a tracker set up.  I'm already in the main Python one, might as 
well use that.

>It certainly is possible for someone to create a parallel packaging moduleset
>that uses the existing eggs format and PyPI but without the currently
>codebase, and then, once proven to work, lobby for it as distutils 3000.

Yep.  And I believe that something will look rather more like 
zc.buildout than setuptools, actually.  Specifically in being 
data-driven rather than script-driven, and in the flexibility of what 
sort of parts get build and by what methods.  Setuptools is still too 
rooted in distutils' world, the world where you can't depend on any 
other components being around to build things with.

>Frankly I'd like to see setuptools exploded, with those parts of general use
>folded back into the standard library, the creation of a set of
>non-implementation-specific documents of the distribution formats and
>behavior, leaving a small core of one implementation of how to do it and the
>door open for others to compete with their own implementation.

Apart from the exploding part, there are already documents.  The only 
thing that makes them implementation-specific is that they haven't 
passed through any magic blessing process to make them standards.

>You should document those ideas someplace and start getting community input.
>There are a lot of diverse opinions on the right way to do this and the way
>ahead is quite unclear.

We might be talking about different things, as I'm more concerned 
with replacing setuptools and distutils on the build-and-distribute 
side.  What's needed there is more the weeding out of too many ways 
to do simple things, and fixing the complete absence of ways to do 
complex things.  :)  For simple things the distutils are too hard, 
and for slightly-more-complex things, the entry barrier encourages 
people to abandon and replace them.

On the package management side, I'm somewhat more inclined to agree 
with the need for a community approach, though.

> > btw, offtopic question: are you by any chance the same Jeff Rush who
> > invented EchoMail?
>Yep, that's me.  Not many remember the Fidonet days.  I designed 
>EchoMail on a
>napkin during a DFW Sysop pizza party during a conversation on what 
>to do with
>the unused capability of inter-BBS private file transfers.  It too 
>escaped its
>ecosystem and spread like wildfire, almost getting banned from Fidonet. ;-)

Ah, so you *do* know what it's like to develop setuptools, then.  I 
might even have met you at the one DFW sysop pizza party I ever 
attended.  Back then, I ran the FreeZone, and before that, "Ferris 
Bueller's Fine Arts Forum", back in the late 80's and early 90's.  My 
wife met me through the D/FW BBS list in the back of Computer 
Shopper, with a modem she bought at Software, Etc., up in Allen or 
wherever that place was.  Not the chain store, the little consignment 
shop.  Those were the days.  But now we're *really* getting off-topic.  :)

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