[Python-Dev] Standard install locations for Python ?

Martin v. Loewis martin@mira.cs.tu-berlin.de
Thu, 18 Jan 2001 13:20:06 +0100

> Where should Python extensions install themselves and their docs?

I feel that extensions should not need to care. For extensions,
distutils will pick a location, and the system administrator
configuration the package can chose a different location.

Unfortunately, distutils does not support the installation of
documentation, which I think it should.

Now switching sides, as an administrator, I'd wish distutils to follow
the system conventions by default. 

That means on Linux, documentation should go into the system's <doc>
directory, which is /usr/share/doc according to latest
standards. Distributions vary, so distutils should find out - e.g. by
querying the location from rpm. In addition, when building RPMs,
distutils should declare these files as %doc in the spec file, so RPM
will install it following the system conventions.

On Windows, the convention apparently is to put the documentation
"nearby" the software, so it should probably go into Doc or a
subdirectory thereof.

On Unix, there appears to be no standard location, unless the
documentation consists of man pages or perhaps info files. So
<prefix>/share/doc is probably a place as good as any other.