[Python-Dev] What is "installed"?

David Abrahams dave@boost-consulting.com
Tue, 08 Jul 2003 20:00:12 -0400

This will sound like a heap of complaint, but there really is a point
(at the end)...

As someone who needs to build Python from sources (often CVS sources)
on Win32, and sometimes even modify them, I have often been frustrated
by the fact that many tools seem to think Python isn't "installed"
unless I've run some installer.

For example I think distutils still expects files such as pyconfig.h
to be copied from my Python sources' PC/ subdirectory into its
include/ subdirectory, which is annoying because it's a modification
to my source tree that isn't performed automatically by the build
process; when I update I don't want to have to remember to move files
around manually.  When developing Python extensions I just add the
appropriate subdirectory (PC/ on Win32) to my #include path so I don't
have to worry about this stuff.

Now I'm getting stopped by a related problem: I need to install LEO,
and it thinks there's no Python installed on my system, even though
there's a perfectly good usable 'python.exe' in my path.  Is it
looking for something in my registry?  I have no clue.

So how do Python developers deal with these issues?  Is there a
smoother way?  Am I making life difficult for myself?

Dave Abrahams
Boost Consulting