[Distutils] Pre-pre-PEP: Requirements for the Python BUILDS Specification

Josselin Mouette joss at debian.org
Tue Oct 7 20:58:51 CEST 2008

Le mardi 07 octobre 2008 à 14:40 -0400, Phillip J. Eby a écrit :
> At 09:57 AM 10/7/2008 +0200, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> >Symlinks are a real pain to handle. We can use them transparently
> >for .pyc files, but if we want to relocate data files to some other
> >directories, currently it has to be done by hand, and this is why most
> >maintainers don’t do it.
> Which is why the idea for the BUILDS spec to include a way for 
> automated tools to do it, so that you won't have to do it manually.

If you write a tool to do that, why not make it simply move files
properly and let the code locate them, instead of adding yet another
layer on top of the existing stuff? The tool will not be more
complicated this way.

> Or are you saying that that isn't an improvement over the current situation?

It is. I didn’t understand you wanted to automate the symlinks creation.
It indeed means less burden on the maintainers, but it would be a shame
to keep the same mess in binary packages, while having a tool to do that
would allow to make things cleaner.

> Yes, it's true that I'm saying that developers should not be 
> *required* to add the extra data to their packages, but that they 
> should be *able* to, and if it is trivial to add the extra data, most 
> should accept patches or respond to requests to do so.
> Right now, it's not even *possible* for them to do so, however.

It is possible - if they use autoconf instead.

BTW, I would consider it a good approach to try bringing BUILDS on par
with the autotools capabilities. These tools have serious drawbacks, but
they were written with the ability to work for distributors in mind.

> At the same time, the people I'd most like to see on the PEP team 
> from the developer-user side would definitely include folks from 
> Twisted, Numpy, Enthought, and Zope, as they are the folks who have 
> most stressed the distutils to the limits and beyond.  Just getting 
> you and them in the "same room" so to speak seems to already be 
> producing some benefits.

Looks like a sane approach.

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