[Distutils] developing & managing multiple packages with dependencies

Jason Baker jbaker at zeomega.com
Fri May 7 15:26:18 CEST 2010

On Fri, May 7, 2010 at 2:43 AM, Antonio Cavallo <a.cavallo at cavallinux.eu>wrote:
> Beside the technical reasons, from a network administration point of view
> is a bad way to replace a native way to install things. Plenty of company
> have developers without administrator privileges on a machine.
> All of a sudden if you are a syadmin and must  know what is installed
> on a remote machine (possible in another continent) you could not use
> any longer the standard system tools (rpm -qi on linux) but you need
> to be logged as the developer and go figuring out the way he/she
> installed things.
> Again I suggest to stay away from anything that relies on setuptools, that
> is my professional experience, and I haven't seen any (good) reason
> to suggest the contrary: you needs might be different.

I agree that using native operating system tools to install packages is a
good thing.  There's one big problem with that though:  it becomes near
impossible to sandbox packages into their own virtualenvs.      This is
important to us because we have multiple packages that may rely upon
different versions of different packages.

> Traceability is I give you the "product" (in business lingo "deliverable")
> now the questions are:
>  - What it depends upon? python + module foo version X + module bar version
> Y and so on.
>  - How do I rebuild it if you company goes bankrupt (I hope not but it is
> an eventuality)?
>  - Is there any hidden backdoor any of you employee has put in one of the
> many component?
>  - How do we get the name of the offender if that happen?

I suppose I can see the benefit of having dependencies in version control.
 I'm not sure I like the idea of ruling things with an iron fist though.  I
could see managing dependencies and managing the build process turning into
a full time job.  I suppose there may be benefits to that, but whether or
not we can dedicate a person to it is a decision that is well above me.  :-)
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