[Distutils] Python people want CPAN and how the latter came about

Tarek Ziadé ziade.tarek at gmail.com
Tue Dec 22 14:35:15 CET 2009

On Tue, Dec 22, 2009 at 2:02 PM, David Cournapeau <cournape at gmail.com> wrote:
> Data files is my favorite example, as it is deceptively simple
> feature-wise, and yet so confusing. We had 2 emails in the recent days
> on this ML on the topic, and even people very familiar with distutils
> got it wrong. Just considering numpy.distutils/distutils/setuptools,
> there are 5 ways to handle data files at least (data_files,
> package_data, MANIFEST[.in], VCS, add_data_dir). None of them makes it
> easy to install a data file in arbitrary location. I think
> distutils/setuptools lacks a robust way of including data files, but
> it is not as much a feature problem (which could be solved relatively
> easily), as more a problem of what people want.

I'll speak about distutils only here.

That topic is a good example indeed.

See: http://bugs.python.org/issue2279

1/ Someone added an issue tracker in bugs.python.org because those
data files are
    not added unless you add an explicit MANIFEST.in

2/ I worked to change that

3/ it is now included in Python 2.7

So now I am asking you: what do *you* want ?

When you say "which could be solved relatively easily" I suggest that
you take the time to add concise and precise proposals in
bugs.python.org so I can work on them.

And when you say "even people very familiar with distutils got it
wrong" I suggest that you also take the time to propose some doc
fixes, or points its lacking in the tracker.

Distutils has now a maintainer, and that would be me. In two days, it
will be one year exactly since I've taken over the maintenance and
I've done so far 185 commits in the distutils package,
and 15 commits in its documentation and this rate is going to increase
once the PEPs we are building are accepted.  Unfortunately I can't
make it a great package in just one year, and there is a huge amount
of work left to be done.

So I suggest that you take the chance to help me fixing the stuff you
don't like in that package by feeding the tracker.

Patches welcome ! ;)


Tarek Ziadé | http://ziade.org

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