[Distutils] patch: solving the two major things that people dislike about setuptools, part 1

zooko zooko at zooko.com
Wed Jan 21 00:48:38 CET 2009


This is just to let you know that my programming partner Brian Warner  
is one of the many data points I have indicating that respecting the  
PYTHONPATH would make setuptools more palatable to more hackers.   
Brian, however, is the most important data point, to me, because I  
work closely with him every day and I greatly respect his software  
engineering practices.

A few days ago he wrote on the tahoe-dev mailing list:

"import" should import whatever comes first in the PYTHONPATH, right?  
So it should be a simple (heh) matter of insuring that the source  
tree or the newly installed location appears earlier in PYTHONPATH?  
'trial' adds the current directory to sys.path before importing the  
code-under-test, so it's designed to either be run from a source tree  
(and test the code in that source tree), or from anywhere other than  
a source tree (and test the code that's installed on your system:  
whatever get used when you do 'import').

I must say, seeing how badly setuptools futzes around with sys.path,  
I can't say I feel confident that the ordering of PYTHONPATH matters  
anymore. I miss this loss of confidence and control.


I replied, in part:

PJE, the maintainer of setuptools rejected my patch, and some other  
people on the distutils-sig list replied to say that this was the  
last straw and they were going to fork setuptools.

Hopefully after Tahoe-1.3 release we can start using the fork and it  
will respect the PYTHONPATH.  Also, there's a possibility that we  
could contribute a patch to setuptools that PJE would accept that  
would also make it respect the PYTHONPATH, but I'm not precisely sure  
how it would work.  I intend to think about that at some point, but  
I've been awfully busy with Tahoe.  Please read the thread rooted at  
that URL above for full context.  See also, if you are curious the  
[[issue tickets]] tiddler on my klog which contains a (dizzyingly  
large) list of issue tickets that I'm trying to pay attention to.

So, this is just to let everyone know that any setuptools variant  
(including a future release of PJE's setuptools) that respects the  
PYTHONPATH will get at least two users!



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