[Distutils] install --dry-run broken?

Floris Bruynooghe floris.bruynooghe at gmail.com
Fri Apr 23 00:19:49 CEST 2010

On Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 11:46:45PM +0200, Tarek Ziadé wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 11:40 PM, Jim Fulton <jim at zope.com> wrote:
> [..]
> >> I confirm this is not working (even under 2.5) -- please fill a bug in
> >> bugs.python.org, I'll fix it.
> >
> > http://bugs.python.org/issue8501
> >
> Thx
> >>
> >>> Or maybe this constitutes "working" for distutils. ;)
> >>
> >> well, why do you want to do a dry run anyways ?
> >
> > I don't. I was researching an old ZODB issue in which someone
> > complained that ZODB's setup.py broke --dry-run. :)
> >
> >> make up your mind: do
> >> you want it installed or not ? ;)
> >
> > The documentation says that when --dry-run is used: "don't actually do
> > anything".  This is not the actual behavior.  I'd be happy to see the
> > option go away. I don't think anyone us depending on it and you have
> > better things to do.
> Sounds reasonable, I never liked it anyways.

I would think it's intended for paranoid people who want to see what
exactly what files will be copied where before doing a real install.
And I must admit that I like that functionality at times.

That said it's been broken since forever[0] and it's a real pain to
implement it properly and a high maintenance cost to keep it
functioning properly.  So maybe removing it is the sensible option.


[0] I have vague memories from years ago when I first played with
    distutils to use this and discover it still did some stuff and was
    useless in showing what actually would happen.  At that time I
    hadn't discovered bug trackers yet, in my defence I probably
    didn't have internet either.

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