[Distutils] pip vs easy_install vs distutils2

Barry Warsaw barry at python.org
Fri Jun 4 22:53:23 CEST 2010

On Jun 04, 2010, at 01:07 PM, Ian Bicking wrote:

>On Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 8:38 AM, Barry Warsaw <barry at python.org> wrote:
>> >So at the end, the end user would chose an installer that is
>> >compatible with these archive, and know how to install them. In other
>> >words, have ez_setup for example, run once for all at the Python
>> >level, and be THE installer. Or run a pip_setup or whatever.
>> How would OS vendors get into the game?  I could imagine that Ubuntu would
>> want to make an opinionated choice for our users, and maybe even set things
>> up
>> so that packages are installed from our archives (as .deb packages) by
>> default.  This would make things very easy for the majority of users,
>> though
>> of course we'd have to allow experts to customize it to grab from the
>> Cheeseshop or use a different installer.
>I could see how a deb might make sense for an unqualified installation,
>i.e., one where no specific version or location is indicated. *Probably* a
>specific version would be okay, but the way deb archives work it seems like
>the archive would usually be unable to satisfy the request.

That seems about right.

>It would be interesting if you could also hook into a deb generation script,
>and install ad hoc packages as debs.

I have evil plans... :)

>This really isn't a system choice, but a where-the-package-is-installed
>choice.  If installing in /usr/lib/* then using the system package makes
>sense.  If installing anywhere else it doesn't make sense (home directory,
>virtualenv environment, something ad hoc using install options).  I wonder
>if it would work best to control this through some distutils.cfg-like file
>(distutils.cfg is terrible though), that would be looked up based on the
>installation location.

I'd agree.  There's definitely a difference between *development* and
*deployment*.  When I'm developing some library or app, I'm living in my own
little world of virtualenv or something similar.  I definitely do not want any
of that to influence my system Python, at least for the package under
development.  It's possible that I'll want some of the dependencies installed
in my system Python, but then only the ones blessed by my OS, or at least that
play my OS package manager's games properly (e.g. an on-demand spun .deb).

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