[Python-Dev] magic in setuptools (Was: setuptools in the stdlib)

Greg Ewing greg.ewing at canterbury.ac.nz
Fri Apr 21 12:39:39 CEST 2006

Phillip J. Eby wrote:

> By now, however, the term is popularly used with GUI toolkits of all 
> kinds to mean essentially read-only data files that are required by a 
> program or library to function, but which are not directly part of the 
> code.

It's just occurred to me that there's another thread
to the history of this term: the X window system's
use of the term "resource" to mean essentially a
user-configurable setting. This is probably where
the usage you're referring to comes from, since
Gtk and the ilk are fairly deeply rooted in X.

This is really quite a different idea, although
there's some overlap because X applications are
typically distributed with a "resources" file
containing default values for the settings, and
won't work without there being some version of
this file available.

However, the sense we're talking about is more
like the Mac one, where resources are an integral
part of the program just as much as the code is,
and have every right to be kept with the code.

Indeed, in a classic 68K Mac application, the code
literally WAS a resource. The 68K machine code was
kept in the resource fork in resources of type
"CODE". The data fork of an application was usually


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