[Distutils] Towards a simple and standard sdist format that isn't intertwined with distutils

Chris Barker chris.barker at noaa.gov
Sat Oct 3 00:00:48 CEST 2015

On Fri, Oct 2, 2015 at 2:45 PM, Nathaniel Smith <njs at pobox.com> wrote:

> > I would rather see an sdist format that can be introspected *without*
> > running code or a build tool.

indeed -- this has come up a lot on this list, for binary dists, too, of

but  "build script as turing complete" [someone posted that in this
thread...] requirement is there, too...

but maybe we can get a long way with convention, without changing the tools.

A setup.py is typically a bunc of stuff that builds up the setup, and then
a call to setup.py, passing in teh objects created to various paramters.

But if we tried to establish a convention that your setup.py would do:




then the_options_dict could be introspected without actually createing a
seteup object.

and in the easy cases, the_options_dict could be completely declarative,
and maybe even stored in another file.

and in the complex cases, it could still have all the parts that could be
pre-declared declarative, so setup.py would be:

setup_options_dict = load_options_dict("setup_options.txt")

[do assorted complex stuff to edit/add to setup_options_dict]


would this move us toward an as-declarative-as-possible setup.py?



Christopher Barker, Ph.D.

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Chris.Barker at noaa.gov
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