[Distutils] People want CPAN :-)

Tarek Ziadé ziade.tarek at gmail.com
Wed Nov 11 09:59:23 CET 2009

On Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 3:08 AM, David Cournapeau
<david at ar.media.kyoto-u.ac.jp> wrote:
> What is important here is how to add new tools, without touching or
> impacting distutils in many places. In particular, what distutils
> expects from a tool should be clearly defined (right now it is
> implementation defined).

Yes, and in that case, it means writing a new compiler class.

>> Distutils is not living only through setup.py. It has some public APIs
>> imported and used by people.
> I am aware about the usage of distutils: I don't think it has public
> API, though. It has functions that people use, but it is far from clear
> what is public from what is private. Many things we do numpy.distutils
> are clearly dependent on implementation details of distutils.

A public api doesn't have a "_" prefix.

> Otherwise, a new system would look nothing like distutils. One of the
> main argument to avoid rewrite is that you will end up doing the same
> mistakes, and old code is more complicated because it has been tested.
> But here, we know what a good design is like as other languages have
> vastly superior solutions to this problem.
> As far as compilation is concerned at least, the distutils knowledge is
> vastly overblown. First, most of it comes from autoconf on unices. You
> have the MSVC tools knowledge, but that can be easily reused (in
> numscons, I added msvc support from the python 2.6 msvc9compiler, this
> was not difficult). Most other tools are rather obsolete - and if you
> break any API in distribute there, you will most likely lose them as
> well anyway (I am thinking about OS/2, Metrowerk kind of tools).
> Again, I don't mean to say that working on distribute is a mistake, or
> criticize what you do in any way. I just don't think it will solve any
> significant issue for the scientific python community. But enough
> "stop-energy": at this point, I will just shut up, and continue working
> on my own idea - if they make sense, the scientific community is big
> enough so that the solution could be used there only, at least for some
> time.

I asked you for your use cases so we could work on changing things,
but it's evident
at this point that you don't want to use Distutils or you don't think
it can evolve.

I don't think the scientific community is so different from any other Python
community either, in what they need.

And I don't think Distutils is a lost case, as you seem to think.


More information about the Distutils-SIG mailing list