[Distutils] command hooks...

Paul Moore p.f.moore at gmail.com
Wed May 16 10:30:56 CEST 2012

On 16 May 2012 08:49, Tarek Ziadé <tarek at ziade.org> wrote:
> On 5/16/12 9:40 AM, Paul Moore wrote:
>> This would be a very good step - but rather than simply getting
>> responses in the mailing list, can I suggest that we need some sort of
>> central location where the features still outstanding for packaging
>> can be tracked. Call it a roadmap if you like. Maybe it should be a
>> PEP - simply because I can't think of a better place to put it, but
>> I'm open to suggestions (I don't think the bug tracker is the right
>> place, fwiw).
> A wiki page sounds good, as long as each point turns into a bug at some
> point

That sounds reasonable, I guess. As long as it's easy for people to find.

>> As a starter, my key "missing requirement" is support for binary
>> distributions - whether this is a new "universal" format, or whether
>> it is reusing the bdist_wininst/bdist_msi formats, I don't really
>> care, but it needs to be formalised with a migration path, backward
>> compatibility support considered, etc.
> Do you feel like you could start the windows story section on that wiki page
> ?

I'm happy to summarise this on there. Let me know a link to the wiki
page. But 2 points:

1. Binary distributions is *not* a Windows issue. I originally pitched
it as such, because that's where I care, but other people chimed in
with an interest from a non-Windows POV. I can't comment on those
requirements, though. And part of the problem is getting someone to
make a unified statement. I drafted a PEP based around this, but Éric
wanted to have a think about it, and it stalled. We also had other
suggestions from Jim Fulton and Vinay Sanjip on various lists. So
someone needs to take a lead on unifying all this.

2. The main Windows issue is that there are still a lot of bugs.
Whenever I test stuff, I usually find myself hitting one or two bugs,
often existing ones (I don't often get to report new bugs :-)) and
then I'm stuck, unless I fix those bugs, which I often can't (or don't
have the time to). So my efforts stall. I'll have another try at using
packaging in the 3.3a2 release and see what the picture looks like
now. (Note - my key use case at the moment is pysetup install stuff
from pypi, I'm not writing my own packages, so it's the backward
compatibility with existing distutils-based packages that I'll be
testing, and which is key for me).

> Windows binaries were kept because it seems easy and feasible to maintain
> those from the stdlib --
> but they still smell like old stuff because we don't have a Mr Windows in
> the distutils project.
> It was mostly Martin doing the legit work to make it work, and a couple of
> other people (forgive
> me if I forget someone)
> So... the windows binary story will improve if we get a champion for this.

Agreed. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to be such a champion.
But nevertheless, the current story with
distutils/setuptools/distribute on Windows is perfectly fine, so
unless packaging can get to that standard, I can't honestly suggest to
people that they should switch over. It's a high bar to reach
(particularly with such limited Windows expertise available) but
necessary, IMO.


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