[Distutils] more thoughts on python package management

Chris Withers chris at simplistix.co.uk
Tue Sep 30 18:06:23 CEST 2008

Hi All,

I've been trying to catch up on all the packaging discussions but 
couldn't find the right place to reply so thought I'd just do so 

Probably the biggest thing that strikes me now is that 
distutils/setuptools/distribute/pacman/whatever should aim to do much 

In fact, I get the feeling what we really need is a way for package 
maintainers to provide the following metadata:

- where the docs are

- where the tests are and how they're run

- how anything not-python should be built

- what the dependencies are
   (maybe even what the non-python dependencies are!)

- what version of the package this is

This should be in a build-tool independent fashion such that any build 
tools, but especially those of operating system maintainers, can run 
over the same metadata and build their packages.

The only other critical thing for me is that *all* of the above metadata 
  should be available post-install.

With the above in place, we free up the evolution of build tools and let 
the OS-specific packaging tools play nicely.

I think a good aim would also be to have some "one-way-to-do-it" python 
tools too for:

- installing a package

- uploading a package to PyPI

- getting a package from PyPI

...without any silly big plugin system in the way distutils currently works.

What do other people feel?



Simplistix - Content Management, Zope & Python Consulting
            - http://www.simplistix.co.uk

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