[Distutils] Deleting legacy contents from core install guide?

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Sun Feb 23 13:21:13 CET 2014

On 23 February 2014 22:00, Paul Moore <p.f.moore at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 23 February 2014 11:43, Nick Coghlan <ncoghlan at gmail.com> wrote:
>> With that content gone from the end user installation guide in 3.4+,
>> it can become just a very, very simple introduction to the core pip
>> commands, and then a reference out to the packaging user guide for
>> more info.
>> Thoughts?
> Are "setup.py install" and "setup.py build" being officially relegated
> to undocumented status? That's a genuine question, I don't have a
> particular reason to object if the answer is "yes".
> But if they aren't, will there still be documentation anywhere that covers:
> 1. Running setup.py install will install your project.[1]
> 2. The locations of the distutils.cfg files.
> 3. How to use mingw on Windows, including setting the compiler in
> distutils.cfg.[3]
> [1] Ideally, that should also explain what this *doesn't* do in
> comparison to pip. But that's a matter of enhancing the documentation
> rather than removing legacy stuff.
> [2] Given that mingw support has some long-standing bugs and issues,
> it may be that it doesn't even work any more. But if that's true, we
> should officially desupport it and mark all the relevant bugs as
> closed/wontfix. If it *is* supported, though, we need to make sure
> that somewhere we explain how to build with mingw. (At the moment, pip
> says nothing on the matter, relying on the user setting his default
> compiler appropriately, which means via the instructions in this
> section, I guess). That may be something for the PUG, so moving this
> content to the PUG might be reasonable.

You're right it still needs to be documented, but the problem I ran
into is that it no longer has any place in a document like the install
guide, which is primarily aimed at end users, including sysadmins that
may not care about Python in particular, but just want to know how to
install Python packages to a build root so they can create a platform
specific package.

However, after thinking a little more on the challenge, I believe the
lower level legacy content should fit right in as a new subsection in
the distutils docs at http://docs.python.org/3/distutils/index.html.

Cleaning *that* up can then be part of the longer term project of
sorting out the build side of the story, letting me focus on the
install side for the 3.4 docs.


Nick Coghlan   |   ncoghlan at gmail.com   |   Brisbane, Australia

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