[Python-Dev] Where to install non-code files

Mark Hammond mhammond@skippinet.com.au
Fri, 26 May 2000 12:35:47 +1000

> On Windows and Mac OS, clearly these should go somewhere under
> sys.prefix: this is the directory for all things Python, including
> third-party module distributions.  If Brian Hooper distributes a module
> "foo" that requires a data file containing character encoding data (yes,
> this is based on a true story), then the module belongs in (eg.)
> C:\Python and the data file in (?) C:\Python\Data.  (Maybe
> C:\Python\Data\foo, but that's a minor wrinkle.)
> Any disagreement so far?

A little.  I dont think we need a new dump for arbitary files that no one
can associate with their application.

Why not put the data with the code?  It is quite trivial for a Python
package or module to find its own location, and this way we are not
dependent on anything.

Why assume packages are installed _under_ Python?  Why not just assume the
package is _reachable_ by Python.  Once our package/module is being
executed by Python, we know exactly where we are.

On my machine, there is no "data" equivilent; the closest would be
"python-cvs\pcbuild\data", and that certainly doesnt make sense.  Why can't
I just place it where I put all my other Python extensions, ensure it is on
the PythonPath, and have it "just work"?

It sounds a little complicated - do we provide an API for this magic
location, or does everybody cut-and-paste a reference implementation for
locating it?  Either way sounds pretty bad - the API shouldnt be distutils
dependent (I may not have installed this package via distutils), and really
Python itself shouldnt care about this...

So all in all, I dont think it is a problem we need to push up to this
level - let each package author do whatever makes sense, and point out how
trivial it would be if you assumed code and data in the same place/tree.

[If the data is considered read/write, then you need a better answer
anyway, as you can't assume "c:\python\data" is writable (when actually
running the code) anymore than "c:\python\my_package" is]