[Distutils] Is build an inherently arbitrary-code process?

Chris Barker chris.barker at noaa.gov
Fri Mar 28 23:17:37 CET 2014

On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 2:23 PM, Nick Coghlan <ncoghlan at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 28 Mar 2014 05:42, "Daniel Holth" <dholth at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I became convinced that build was an inherently arbitrary-code
> > process, and not something to be universally handled by a declarative
> > system,
> It wasn't an accident that last years PyCon panel was subtitled "setup.py
> *install* must die" :)
> As others have suggested, declarative build will never be more than an 80%
> solution, and then beyond that, it should be a question of plumbing to
> invoke the project's own build system (and ideally that plumbing will be
> per build system, not per project).
Agreed -- I have been poking at this a bit, and trying to make gattai work
for me:


(It's a by and for python build system that essentially invokes the native
build systems : make, setup.py, nmake, etc... But that's not really the
point). the point is that I hit a wall pretty quickly with
its declarative approach (JSON files). I find I can't do what I need to do
with straight declaration (and I'm hacking gattai to support that)

However, for the most part, all I need to be able to do is run arbitrary
code to set up the declarations. The stuff that's been talked about:
finding the right libraries to link to, that sort of thing.

I actually think that aspect of the setup.py approach works pretty well,
even though it does sometimes get kind of messy.



Christopher Barker, Ph.D.

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Chris.Barker at noaa.gov
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