[Distutils] People want CPAN :-)

Greg Ewing greg.ewing at canterbury.ac.nz
Wed Nov 11 22:02:18 CET 2009

Tarek Ziadé wrote:

> If the answer to that solution is just: "Distutils sucks anyways..",
> it is not really helpfull imho..
> I don't see the point to write Distutils from scratch, instead of
> making it evolve.

If you can see a way to get from the current distutils
code to something with a well-designed and well-documented
API and a clean implementation, that would be fine by

When I say it's fundamentally broken, I'm really talking
about the API. My idea of what an API for a build system
should be like is more like make or scons, which slice
the functionality up in a completely orthogonal direction
to the way distutils does.

Maybe it would be possible to plug such a system in under
the existing build_ext class. I don't know. I think I
would like the same philosophy applied to other areas
of distutils, not just compiling extensions. Otherwise
it would feel like two incompatible systems bolted

What we need right now, I think, is some discussion
about a new API, unconstrained by any considerations of
backwards compatibility or reuse of existing distutils
code. Once we know where we're going, then we can think
about the best way to get there.


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