[Distutils] moving things forward (was: wheel including files it shouldn't)

Chris Barker chris.barker at noaa.gov
Thu May 5 16:30:20 EDT 2016

On Wed, May 4, 2016 at 7:45 PM, Nick Coghlan <ncoghlan at gmail.com> wrote:

> This configuration vs customisation distinction is probably worth
> spelling out for folks without a formal software engineering or
> computer science background, so:

fair enough -- good to be clear on the terms.

> Configuration is different: you're choosing amongst a set of
> possibilities that have been constrained in some way, and those
> constraints are structurally enforced.

That's a key point here -- I guess I'm skeptical that we can have the
flexibility we need with a purely configuration-based system -- we probably
don't WANT to constrain the options completely. If you think about it,
while distutils has it's many, many flaws, what made it possible for it to
be as useful as it is, and last as long as it has because is CAN be
customized -- users are NOT constrained to the built-in functionality.

I suspect the idea of this thread is to keep the API to a build system
constrained -- and let the build systems themselves be as customizable as
the want to be. And I haven't thought it out carefully, but I have a
feeling that we're going to hit a wall that way .. but maybe not.

> Usually that enforcement is
> handled by making the configuration declarative - it's in some passive
> format like an ini file or JSON, and if it gets too repetitive then
> you introduce a config generator, rather than making the format itself
> more sophisticated.

OK -- that's more or less my thought -- if it's  python that gets run, then
you've got your config generator built in -- why not?

> The big advantage of configuration over customisation is that you
> substantially increase the degrees of freedom in how *consumers* of
> that configuration are implemented - no longer do you need a full
> Python runtime (or whatever), you just need an ini file parser, or a
> JSON decoder, and then you can look at just the bits you care about
> for your particular use case and ignore the rest.

Sure -- but do we care? this is about python packaging -- is it too big a
burden to say you need python to read the configuration?



Christopher Barker, Ph.D.

Emergency Response Division
NOAA/NOS/OR&R            (206) 526-6959   voice
7600 Sand Point Way NE   (206) 526-6329   fax
Seattle, WA  98115       (206) 526-6317   main reception

Chris.Barker at noaa.gov
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mail.python.org/pipermail/distutils-sig/attachments/20160505/75ee78eb/attachment.html>

More information about the Distutils-SIG mailing list