[Distutils] What is the official position on distutils?

Sylvain Corlay sylvain.corlay at gmail.com
Fri Sep 2 04:58:27 EDT 2016

Hi Brett,

On Mon, Aug 29, 2016 at 9:52 PM, Brett Cannon <brett at python.org> wrote:

>> As we discussed earlier, even though it is not a concern with C, checking
>> for availability of a compiler flag becomes crucial when building
>> extensions with C++ since new flavors of the language emerge every couple
>> of years now. It is important to be able to output meaningful error
>> messages when the compiler does not support C++[11/14/17] features if they
>> are needed for a given extension. This is a new aspect of the landscape in
>> this area.
>> Finally, adding this method is a very straightforward change. `has_flag`
>> simply comes aside `has_function` as a method of ccompiler. I don't see a
>> more natural place for it. It would be a very weird design decision in my
>> opinion to not add it there, and instead to add it to distutils.ccompiler
>> by monkeypatching it in setuptools.
> Honestly I have no comment on your feature, Sylvain, and I'm sorry your
> proposal happens to be the catalyst to this discussion. I'm just trying to
> get a general alignment from the PyPA group as the "distutils problem"
> comes up and has the same points made every time with no general decision
> on how to handle it long-term.
> -Brett

My point here was that I don't think that the proposed feature has much to
do with the concerns that were raised about distutils in general, unless it
is decided that incremental improvements to the library even backward
compatible will not be accepted anymore.

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