[Distutils] Improving distutils vs redesigning it (was people want CPAN)

Tarek Ziadé ziade.tarek at gmail.com
Thu Nov 12 01:04:17 CET 2009

On Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 12:18 AM, David Cournapeau <cournape at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 6:59 AM, Tarek Ziadé <ziade.tarek at gmail.com> wrote:
>> And let's drop the backward compat issues in these discussions, so we
>> don't burn out
>> in details.
> That's the part I don't understand. If backward compatibility is not a
> concern, why keeping distutils ? If you change the command and
> Distribution class design, what remains of the original code  ? You
> are changing the API and the implementation (which are quite tangled
> with each other in distutils case), almost none of the original code
> would remain.
> It really feels to me like you are getting the pain of backward
> compatibility without the gains. What am I missing ?

What you are missing is that :

- you are convinced that distutils should be written from scratch. I
am not for many reasons. Some others are not either.
  it won't happen. the only thing that could make it happen is the
replacement of distutils by another tool that
  is used by the majority of the community for several years.

- you are convinced that the design is flawed and should be changed. I
partially agree. And I also think this can happen
  in distutils, at a slow pace. but not in the way you've described it.

So, instead on jumping in *your* conclusions (==let's drop distutils)
or in *mine*,
and in order to make some progress together, I am suggesting that we
discuss the design flaws you've mentioned.

And see what we come up with, then refocus on the big picture later
(that is backward compat etc..)

Working on the build_ext and Extensions part with your use case is
where we can share some knowledge imho.


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