[Distutils] Eggs vs bdist_wininst (Was: Distutils and Distribute roadmap (and some words on Virtualenv, Pip))

Tarek Ziadé ziade.tarek at gmail.com
Sun Oct 11 22:39:48 CEST 2009

On Sun, Oct 11, 2009 at 7:45 PM, Paul Moore <p.f.moore at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2009/10/9 Michael Foord <fuzzyman at voidspace.org.uk>:
>> Many Windows users would be quite happy if the standard mechanism for
>> installing non-source distributions on Windows was via the wininst binaries.
> Actually, my understanding is that easy_install is perfectly able to
> use (download, unpack and install) bdist_wininst packages. So *as a
> binary distribution format* bdist_wininst installers can do all that
> eggs can, plus extra (install themselves unassisted!)

Yes, the script is able to unpack and install those. So it could be
the standard yes.

> So why is there a need for an egg binary format on Windows?

I think the only extra specific feature bdist_egg provides is the
ability to use the self-contained
egg (zipped or not) directly in sys.path without having to install it
in a site-packages like directory.

That's how zc.buildout works for example to isolate an execution
environment : it collects eggs in a directory called 'eggs', then
creates scripts with a modified sys.path that lists the paths of each
egg located in 'eggs'.


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