[Python-Dev] addressing distutils inability to track file dependencies

Guido van Rossum guido@python.org
Fri, 14 Jun 2002 09:35:40 -0400

> Distutils is very unix-centric in that it expects there to be separate 
> compile and link steps. While this can be made to work on Windows (at 
> least for MSVC) where there are such separate compilers if you look hard 
> enough it can't be made to work for MetroWerks on the Mac, and also for 
> MSVC it's a rather funny way to do things.

Actually, the setup dialogs and general structure of MSVC make you
very aware of the Unixoid structure of the underlying compiler
suite. :-)

But I believe what you say about MW.

> I would much prefer it if distutils would (optionally) gather all it's 
> knowledge and generate a Makefile or an MW projectfile or an MSVC 
> projectfile.
> For MW distutils already does this (every step simply remembers 
> information, and at the "link" step it writes out a project file and 
> builds that) but it would be nice if this way of operation was codified.

I'm not sure what's to codify -- this is different for each compiler
suite.  When using setup.py with a 3rd party extension on Windows, I
like the fact that I don't have to fire up the GUI to build it.  (I
just wish it were easier to make distutils do the right thing for
debug builds of Python.  This has improved on Unix but I hear it's
still broken on Windows.)

> Note that for people having an IDE this would also make debugging a lot 
> easier: if you have an IDE project you can easily do nifty things like 
> turn on debugging, use its class browser, etc.

That's for developers though, not for people installing extensions
that come with a setup.py script.

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)