[Distutils] PEP for specifying build dependencies

Nathaniel Smith njs at pobox.com
Fri May 13 16:09:31 EDT 2016

On May 13, 2016 11:34 AM, "Chris Barker" <chris.barker at noaa.gov> wrote:
> One other question:
> Is it just examples or is "build" being defined as "build a wheel"?
> i.e. there are times one might want to build a package without building a
wheel -- just it install it yourself, or to put it in another package
format -- conda, rpm, what have you.
> In conda's case, building a wheel, and then installing it would work
fine, but I'm not sure we want to lock that down as the only way to build a

As Brett already clarified, this pep is just about how you get to the point
of being able to start the build system; it doesn't care what the build
system actually outputs.

But, the plan *is* to make wheels the standard way to build packages --
that will be in the next pep :-). I'm not sure I'd call it "lock down",
because there's nothing that will stop you running setup.py bdist_rpm or
whatever. But our goal is to reach the point where package authors get a
choice of what build system to use, and there's no guarantee that every
build system will implement bdist_rpm.

So, the plan is to require all build systems to be able to output wheels,
and then debian or conda-build or whoever will convert the wheel into
whatever final package format they want. This is way more scalable than
requiring N different build systems to each be able to output M different
formats for N*M code paths. And if wheels aren't sufficient, well, we can
add stuff to the spec :-)

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