[Distutils] moving things forward

Alex Grönholm alex.gronholm at nextday.fi
Thu May 5 16:34:38 EDT 2016

I think it would be best to gather a few extreme examples of setup.py 
files from real world projects and figure out if they can be implemented 
in a declarative fashion. That at least would help us identify the pain 

For starters, gevent's setup.py looks like it needs a fair bit of custom 

05.05.2016, 23:30, Chris Barker kirjoitti:
> On Wed, May 4, 2016 at 7:45 PM, Nick Coghlan <ncoghlan at gmail.com 
> <mailto: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?
> -CHB
> -- 
> Christopher Barker, Ph.D.
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