[Distutils] [pyconuk] "just use debian"

Nicolas Chauvat nicolas.chauvat at logilab.fr
Sun Sep 28 19:30:11 CEST 2008


On Sat, Sep 27, 2008 at 05:18:36PM +0900, David Cournapeau wrote:
> > Do you really think every single Python package in PyPI deserves to be
> > packaged for every distribution? I don't. How do I make a difference?
> > When I need something I download it. When I find it really useful and
> > plan on using it I package it. Many others are behaving in the same
> > way and the result is "apt-cache search python".
> For example, installing from sources on most other systems is frowned
> upon, and rightfully so, because it is even more complicated to do than
> on a decent linux system. It is painful because either the OS makes it
> terribly difficult (windows), or because you have antique/not well
> supported toolsets (old Solaris, etc...). If you mainly use only one OS,
> you just can't understand the pain.

I have used many operating systems and I still do from time to time. I
frown upon anything that has to be done more than once by hand,
including installing things from source.

> I am not saying that python plugins must be THE deployment system, but
> that it has to be one system, because plugins systems are as pervasive
> on other OS as .deb are on debian. So we should think about what kind of
> things python core can provide to help other tools to either build
> "native" packages or eggs, and not having a big pile of code which mix
> everything. As Matthias Klose mentioned earlier, a lot of those formats
> share common requirements. We should talk about those instead of saying
> my package is bigger than yours.

Sure, the package system I use is bigger than yours (if you are not
using Debian), but that's not my main point and insisting on it would
turn into an endless flame war. Can we focus on something else?

You call me narrow minded, but I pretend to understand why people came
up with distutils/setuptools/eggs etc. I have been there. I felt the
need for a tool to easily manage systems and install dependencies. I
started writing one myself. Then I discovered Debian and stopped using
the other tools I had. Problem solved. For me.

Now that more and more people are using Python and computers, more and
more people feel the same need. Not everyone can solve his problem by
dropping what he has and adopting Debian. I am well aware of that.

I am not trying to convince people to adopt Debian, I am trying to
explain to people who probably have not used it or not developed a lot
of packages for a large system:
* how I do it very efficiently, 
* why it suits my needs,
* why other people trying to make "python plugins systems" are making my
  work more difficult when it becomes the only/main distribution channel.

I repeat. I am not trying to force other people to use Debian, I am
trying to get other people not to force me to use tools I do not need
(distutils, etc) for I have good ones already (debian packages).

> > As usual "user != developer". For someone not using Debian: just be
> > happy with whatever tool you choose to use. For someone not an
> > experienced Debian developer: just wait for someone to do the work you
> > want to benefit from, or learn to do it yourself and get it done.
> And how do you distribute new versions of your package ? You wait for
> debian to package it correctly ? For fast-moving packages, debian are
> not the ultimate solution, far from it.

As I said in an other email, I now get python code from a mercurial
repository to a Debian repository then to a production system running
Debian in a matter of minutes. That's fast enough for me.

> I mean, it is not like OpenSuse build service, Ubuntu ppa systems
> came from nowhere. There is a need for softwares developers to
> distribute themselves the software for newer versions, and in that
> case, the native system (at least used "officialy") simply is not
> appropriate.

http://ftp.logilab.org/debian/sid/ is not official. Anyone wanting to
make one's own repository can do it. Anyone wanting to use some
repository that's "non-official" as a source of packages for one's
system can do it.

I have talked a lot. I think I'll stop drowning this list with my
messages. Here is my conclusion.

People can do whatever they think is good for them! Just do not use
easy_install/whatever as the only distribution channel. If you use it,
put a standard tarball with an up-to-date README detailing
installation and dependencies on the same download page. Please.

Nicolas Chauvat

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