[Distutils] Comments on PEP 426

Antoine Pitrou solipsis at pitrou.net
Sat Aug 31 13:03:29 CEST 2013

Donald Stufft <donald <at> stufft.io> writes:
> > 
> > The sticking point is that you don't *have* to install something third-party
> > to get yourself working on some packaging. Being able to benefit from
> > additional features *if* you install something else is of course fine.
> Out of the four you listed I'm most familiar with Django's packaging which
> has gone to significant effort *not* to require setuptools. Most packages
> aren't willing to go through that effort and either simply require setuptools
> or they include a distutils fallback which often times doesn't work correctly
> except in simple cases*.
> * Not that it couldn't work correctly just they don't use it so they never
> experience any brokenness and most people do not directly execute setup.py
> so the installers tend to handle the differences/brokenness for them.

Executing setup.py directly is very convenient when working with a
development or
custom build of Python, rather than install the additional "build tools" (which
may have their own compatibility issues).
For example I can easily install Tornado with Python 3.4 that way.

I'm not saying most people will use setup.py directly, but there are situations
where it's good to do so, especially for software authors.



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