[Distutils] Package install failures in 2.6.3 - setuptools vs Distribute

Ned Deily nad at acm.org
Sat Oct 3 11:47:52 CEST 2009

I'm afraid there is going to be a small deluge of very confused users 
who will end up needing to install Distribute but only when they 
eventually figure out why some packages with C extensions mysteriously  
no longer install after they upgrade to python 2.6.3.  For example, 
following the package instructions to use setuptools easy_install, an 
easy_install lxml fails with 2.6.3 with the very cryptic:

File "build/bdist.macosx-10.3-fat/egg/setuptools/command/build_ext.py", 
line 85, in get_ext_filename KeyError: 'etree'


Appscript is another package that fails similarly.  There must be others.

I don't know what's to be done about this awkward incompatibility now 
that 2.6.3 is out the door other than perhaps making sure maintainers of 
affected packages are aware of what their users are running into and can 
update their documentation.

There is one small thing that may help some users who find their way to 
http://pypi.python.org/pypi/distribute.  OS X, for one, does not ship 
with wget however it does have curl.  Suggest adding another example:

  $ curl -O http://nightly.ziade.org/distribute_setup.py
  $ python distribute_setup.py

 Ned Deily,
 nad at acm.org

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