[Distutils] waf can be used to compile Python extension modules

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Mon Mar 24 09:59:16 CET 2014

On 24 Mar 2014 10:01, "Paul Moore" <p.f.moore at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 23 March 2014 23:13, Nick Coghlan <ncoghlan at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Now you begin to see the scope of the problem. It's definitely
solvable, but
> > means asking a whole pile of "required, recommended or
> > questions about the existing distutils and setuptools build system :)
> >
> > "pip already relies on it" sets the minimum for the "required"
category, but
> > there's more to a full build system abstraction than what pip currently
> > supports.
> OK, I see now. So the ultimate build system will include pip changes
> to supply build-time options in an as-yet unspecified manner.
> There's certainly no way I can do all of that myself, I don't have
> remotely the level of experience with complex build requirements. But
> I can probably take the first steps, and leave it to people with the
> experience to add to it. No promises on timescales but I'll see what I
> can do.
> One thought. do we want to use a setup.py script as the interface,
> with all its historical baggage, or would we be better using a new
> script name as the "official" interface (with pip falling back to
> equivalent setup.py invocations when that script isn't present, for
> backward compatibility)?

Step 1 is "What does pip currently expect setup.py to support?"

Step 2 is "What other existing features of distutils/setuptools do we think
a reasonable replacement for setup.py should support?" (I don't believe
distutils2 reached the point of addressing this, but that should still be

Step 3 ("what, if anything, should replace the setup.py CLI as the build
system abstraction?") really depends on the outcome of steps 1 & 2 - this
is more a research/documentation consolidation project at this point than
it is a design project.


> Paul
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