[Distutils] Role of distutils.cfg
christoph at grothesque.org
Thu Nov 10 06:27:07 EST 2016
I have a question on how to best handle parameters to the
distribution given that they can be shadowed by the global
configuration file, distutils.cfg.
Our project  contains C-extensions that include NumPy’s
headers. To this end, our setup.py  sets the include_dirs
parameter of setup() to NumPy’s include path. We have chosen this
way, since it allows to add a common include path to all the
extensions in one go. One advantage of this approach is that when
the include_dirs parameters of the individual extensions are
reconfigured (for example with a build configuration file), this
does not interfere with the numpy include path.
This has been working well for most of other users, but recently
we got a bug report by someone for whom it doesn’t. It turns out
that his system has a distutils.cfg that precedes over the
include_dirs parameter to setup() .
My question is now: is there a policy on the correct use of
distutils.cfg? After all, it can override any parameter to any
distutils command. As such, is passing options like include_dirs
to setup() a bad idea in the first place, or should rather the use
of distutils.cfg be reserved to cases like choosing an alternative
Thanks for any clarification,
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