[Distutils] How to handle launcher script importability?

Vinay Sajip vinay_sajip at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Aug 12 22:18:24 CEST 2013

Jason R. Coombs <jaraco <at> jaraco.com> writes:

> My preference is to reject the idea of the side-by-side executable
> launcher. 

I agree that it's not ideal to have side-by-side executables, but how do you
propose to address PJE's point about older Python versions? You can't force
people to install the standalone launcher where they have only older Python
versions installed. Are you proposing that an installer looks for py.exe at
installation time, and does one thing (install as foo.pye) if it is found,
and another thing (install as foo-script.py + foo.exe) if it isn't? This
could cause breakage if a user subsequently uninstalled the launcher
(perhaps unknowingly, by uninstalling the version of Python it came with) -
are we OK with that?

They might seem ugly and redundant (multiple copies of identical executables
- yecch), but the years of service given by setuptools executable launchers
suggests that they are not a problem for end users, whereas the user
experience with the alternatives might be in problematic some scenarios.
While it's good to look at alternatives, it seems like this area is a
"solved problem" even if the solution isn't especially elegant, and I would
guess that are probably other issues which should have a higher priority.


Vinay Sajip

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