[Distutils] bdist_deb - Debian packager

Éric Araujo merwok at netwok.org
Sun Jun 13 21:50:01 CEST 2010

Hello again, and sorry for the hiatus

> I see, thanks for pointing this out. I thought pkg_resources was in the 
> stdlib (or on that track). I will investigate.

pkg_resources is not in the stdlib. The good ideas from it are moved
into pkgutil as we speak <wink>, and will be in the standard library
when distutils2 is merged back.

>>   The py2dsc script seems to be obsoleted by the
>> to-be “debian” command.
> Can you refer me to the source code and/or documentation for that 
> command? I was not previously aware of it.

I’m sorry, I was referring to a future (“to-be”) distutils2 command
based on your work.

>>   The pypi-install script seems dangerous to me,
>> because downloading unverified software and putting it into the system
>> seems a rather bad idead (a.k.a. “sudo ./setup.py install considered
>> harmful”).    
> Yes, some might consider it dangerous, although it does of course 
> require root privileges before installing anything system-wide (and only 
> builds the .deb file with user privileges). Nevertheless, it is a useful 
> tool and safer than "sudo python ./setup.py install" because one can 
> always do "sudo dpkg --purge python-some-package" to remove that package 
> again.

Well, I’m against sudo too (it trains unix beginners to type their
password when asked, and we know that people don’t read text when they
just want stuff done), and against doing too much with admin rights :)
That said, unix philosophy is about consenting adults (a.k.a. “yes, you
can shoot yourself in the foot”), and since dpkg is able to remove
installed files, I have to agree with you that your script can be
useful, at least to a class of users that don’t want to use the per-user
site-packages directory (assuming they know about it).

Also, note that there is ongoing effort to write a generic client to
query PyPI, so Alexis (a GSoC student, like me) will probably be
interested in your work.

I see in stdeb’s README that there are at least two other projects with
the same goals. Have you had the opportunity to make a comparison?

>> python-debian provides useful support code for generating and reading
>> debian formats. A quick read show the code would benefit from some 2.6
>> modernizing (i.e. gain in simplicity and readability by using modern
>> idioms and stdlib functions).
> Yes, I'm not particularly proud of the code in stdeb -- please feel free 
> to hack away. Any and all improvements accepted, preferably in 
> bite-sized commits to a fork on github.

I’ve looked at your code once, I think it would benefit from using
distutils2. It’s a moving target right now though, perhaps polishing the
requirements and waiting before coding is the safe option. Regarding
debian-python, its code is under GPLv2 or v3, so inaccessible for
Python’s stdlib. We may perhaps ask for relicensing of specific really
helpful bits if needs be.

Kind regards

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