[Distutils] Handling the binary dependency management problem

Paul Moore p.f.moore at gmail.com
Mon Dec 2 15:19:25 CET 2013

On 2 December 2013 13:38, Tres Seaver <tseaver at palladion.com> wrote:
> On 12/01/2013 06:38 PM, Paul Moore wrote:
>> I understand that things are different in the Unix world, but to be
>> blunt why should Windows users care?
> You're kidding, right?  90% or more of the reason for wheels in the first
> place is because Windows users can't build their own software from
> source.  The amount of effort put in by non-Windows package owners to
> support them dwarfs whatever is bothering you here.

My point is that most of the complex binary compatibility problems
seem to be Unix-related, and as you imply, Unix users don't seem to
have much interest in using wheels except for local caching. So why
build that complexity into the spec if the main users (Windows, and
Unix users who won't ever publish wheels outside their own systems)
don't have a need for it? Let's just stick with something simple that
has limitations but works (practicality beats purity). My original
bdist_simple proposal was a pure-Windows replacement for wininst.
Daniel developed that into wheels which cater for non-Windows systems
(I believe, precisely because he had an interest in the local cache
use case). We're now seeing the complexities of the Unix world affect
the design of wheels, and it's turning out to be a hard problem. All
I'm trying to say is let's not give up on binary wheels for Windows,
just because we have unsolved issues on Unix. Whether solving the Unix
issues is worth it is the Unix users' call - I'll help solve the
issues, if they choose to, but I won't support abandoning the existing
Windows solution just because it can't be extended to cater for Unix
as well.

I'm immensely grateful for the amount of work projects which are
developed on Unix (and 3rd parties like Cristoph) put into supporting
Windows. Far from dismissing that, I want to avoid making things any
harder than they already are for such people - current wheels are no
more complex to distribute than wininst installers, and I want to keep
the impact on non-Windows projects at that level. If I come across as
ungrateful, I apologise.


More information about the Distutils-SIG mailing list