[Python-Dev] bdist_* to stdlib?

Joe Smith unknown_kev_cat at hotmail.com
Tue Feb 14 23:05:08 CET 2006

"Guido van Rossum" <guido at python.org> wrote in message 
news:ca471dc20602131604v12a4d70eq9d41b5ce543f3264 at mail.gmail.com...
> In private email, Phillip Eby suggested to add these things to the
> 2.5. standard library:
> bdist_deb, bdist_msi, and friends
> He explained them as follows:
> """
> bdist_deb makes .deb files (packages for Debian-based Linux distros, like
> Ubuntu).  bdist_msi makes .msi installers for Windows (it's by Martin v.
> Loewis).  Marc Lemburg proposed on the distutils-sig that these and 
> various
> other implemented bdist_* formats (other than bdist_egg) be included in 
> the
> next Python release, and there was no opposition there that I recall.
> """

I don't like the idea of bdist_deb very much.
The idea behind the debian packaging system is that unlike with RPM and 
Windows, package management should be clean.

Windows and RPM are known for major dependency problems, letting packages 
damage each other, having packages that do not uninstall cleanly (i.e. 
packages that leave junk all over the place) and generally messing the sytem 
up quite baddly over time, so that the OS is usually removed and 
re-installed periodically.)

The Debian style system attempts to overcome these deficiencies, and 
generally does a decent job with it. The problem is that this can really 
only work if packages are well maintained, and adhere to a set of policies 
that help to further mitigate these problems. Even with all of that, 
packages from one debian based distribution may well cause problems with a 
different one. For that reason it is quite rare to see .debs distributed by 
parties other than those directly involved with a Debian-based distribution, 
and even then they are normally targeted specifically at one distibution. 
Making it easy to generate .debs of python modules will likely result in a 
noticable increase in the number of .debs that do not target a specific 
distribution and/or do not follow the policies of that distribution.

So basically what I am saying is that such a system has a pretty good chance 
of resulting in debs that mess-up users systems, and that is not good. I'm 
not saying don't do it, but if it would be included in the standard library, 
procede with caution! 

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