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

David Lyon david.lyon at preisshare.net
Thu Dec 24 00:10:29 CET 2009

On Wed, 23 Dec 2009 10:08:24 +0100, Lennart Regebro <regebro at gmail.com>
>> There is no .tar.gz, .zip, .bz2, .exe, .msi or .egg concept of
>> packages in perl. And having to pick one.. that may or may not
>> be right for your configuration.
> So your usecase, that a Windows user refuses to install anything else
> than .msi files is solved in CPAN by the user not installing using
> CPAN. Well, that's handy. And the Python situation is worse how,
> exactly?

The same operations take a longer time to complete than the
equivalent operations do with perl.

> That is the most ridicolous excuse I've heard in a long time. People
> are saying to Guido that "Python needs CPAN" and wonders what that
> means. You come with you usual anti distutils rant, I ask *you* what
> the connection is, and you tell med to go hassle Guido.

Yeah, I did. or maybe you can google on it..

> You are not the only one who says it needs to be rewritten from
> scratch. If you are saying that the few people that exists that agree
> with you about this *also* is not enough, then you are saying that the
> community does not agree with you that it needs to be rewritten.

I have no strong views on whether distutils needs to be rewritten
now or not. If anything, I'm probably of the opinion that most
of the bugs and problems could be corrected with time.

>> And if python management aren't united on the need for it,
>> doing a distutils replacement becomes an even weaker
>> proposition.
> So you are saying that you think distutils must be replaced, and that
> the only persons who understand why it needs to be replaced are not
> willing or able to do or even start the work.

I said that distutils could do with a revamp.

>> PEP-345 has been open since 2005. In CPAN it just would
>> have been a beer fight and have been over in a weekend.
> Maybe they have less people who complain, and use up their and other
> peoples energies by ranting and complaining instead of coding.

They do. You are right.
> In any case, I take your answer as a definite statement from your side
> that you will not help neither fix nor replace distutils. And then I
> honestly see no reason why I should listen to you anymore.

Well that would be an erroneous statement. 

I recently made a PEP proposal recently about static metadata. I also 
try to make submissions to the python tracker when I can. I also write

I would love to see a CPAN style framework in place for python
but I'm not under any dilusions about the enormity of the task.

One of the great challenges is that most of the discussion is
'bottom-up', rather than being 'top-down'.

It's very difficult to rebuild the python packaging framework
bottom up. That is, by doing it with patches on the python
tracker, and incremental PEPs. Without having some sort of
master plan.

And your rant about 'just go do it' falls on my deaf ears. If
this CPAN thing is so important to python then it stands to 
reason that people would get invited to a meeting about to 
at least discuss it it.

So if nobody in python management can afford a case of beer
to get people together to discuss it all in person then
how can volunteers on a mailing list be expected to
take it all too seriously.


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