[Distutils] [pyconuk] "just use debian"

Nicolas Chauvat nicolas.chauvat at logilab.fr
Mon Sep 29 17:07:37 CEST 2008

On Mon, Sep 29, 2008 at 08:46:15PM +0900, David Cournapeau wrote:
> The problem is that debian packages are not always the solution (even on
> debian systems). Two big problems are:
>     - installation as non root

True, this is a common use case. Unfortunately, this use case is
common because users get stuck on a system with no way to get things
installed on it. No admin rights, no way to get the contracted
sysadmin to install things, etc.

So far I have not found a good solution to this problem when I had to
face it. Tried several things including a "user-side gentoo". Did not
work well. I see why easy_install could be a solution.

>     - developers deploying their own software on a custom debian
> repository does not scale at all.

Why do you think that?

> Where distutils failed big time IMHO is that it made it more difficult
> for you (or for me for that matter), not easier. Autotools did help
> packagers; a distutils successor should be able to help without getting
> in the way.


> For example, by providing simple discoverable meta-data. Wouldn't
> it help a debian packager to have a simple description of the
> meta-data for the dependencies ? Wouldn't it help if it was easy to
> set data_dir, doc_dir, etc... according to the FHS ? Autotools
> "packages" are relatively easy to package; I don't see why we could
> not achieve the same for python packages.

Good. Let's do it. Do you agree with Tarek that writing a PEP is a
good approach?

Nicolas Chauvat

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