[Distutils] [Python Language Summit] Distutils / Packaging survey

Chris Withers chris at simplistix.co.uk
Fri Jan 30 13:18:09 CET 2009

Barry Warsaw wrote:
> I'd like to make a radical suggestion: upstream authors should never 
> have to worry about building distribution blobs.
> In my ideal world, I would make a release by tagging my release in 
> whatever vcs I'm using, then I would tell cheeseshop, "hey I just 
> released version 3.1 and it is here" where "here" means whatever native 
> vcs syntax points to the revision I just released.  Then PyPI would do 
> the "coagulation" into distribution formats and distribute it amongst 
> its worldwide mirrors, all automatically.
> I as the Python developer don't want to know about eggs, tarballs, debs, 
> rpms, whatevers, I just want to write some software.  I'm happy to add a 
> bit of metadata to my setup.py to play ball, but otherwise I really just 
> want one command to release my code and then magically have it appear 
> available to everybody.
> If that's not feasible <wink> then the next best thing would be to just 
> spin the source tarball and upload that.  Tarballs I can handle. <wink>
> On the other end, when I zc.buildout, or paver, or easy_install, or 
> aptitude install, or emerge, or port install, or whatever, it would go 
> out to the Worldwide Python Distribution Network and pull down the 
> proper blobby thing to install based on what I'm trying to do, e.g. an 
> egg if I'm developing, a deb if I'm installing into my system Python, 
> etc.  Again, I don't really care and shouldn't have to know.

+sys.maxint to all of the above.

...and I'm damned sure the same is true for anyone using a package.
Of course, here is where the distributions (debian, I'm looking at you!) 
start causing problems by only having ancient versions of packages, 
arbitarily stripping out dev headers and (in the case of xlwt) even 
removing actual source code from the package because they so chose to!

...and they then wonder why people who write python apps and libraries 
tell people not to bother using debian packages and the like? ;-)



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