[Python-Dev] Distribution tools: What I would like to see

Talin talin at acm.org
Tue Nov 28 19:33:08 CET 2006


Martin v. Löwis wrote:
> Talin schrieb:
>> To that extent, it can be useful sometimes to have someone who is in the 
>> process of learning how to use the system, and who is willing to 
>> carefully analyze and write down their own experiences while doing so. 
> 
> I readily agree that the documentation can be improved, and applaud
> efforts to do so. And I have no doubts that distutils is difficult to
> learn for a beginner.
> 
> In Talin's remarks, there was also the suggestion that distutils is
> "in need of some serious refactoring". It is such remarks that get
> me started: it seems useless to me to make such a statement if they
> are not accompanied with concrete proposals what specifically to
> change. It also gets me upset because it suggests that all prior
> contributors weren't serious.

I'm sorry if I implied that distutils was 'misdesigned', that wasn't 
what I meant. Refactoring is usually desirable when a body of code has 
accumulated a lot of additional baggage as a result of maintenance and 
feature additions, accompanied by the observation that if the baggage 
had been present when the system was originally created, the design of 
the system would have been substantially different. Refactoring is 
merely an attempt to discover what that original design might have been, 
if the requirements had been known at the time.

What I was reacting to, I think, is that it seemed like in some ways the 
'diffness' of setuptools wasn't just in the documentation, but in the 
code itself, and if both setuptools and distutils had been co-developed, 
then distutils might have been someone different as a result.

Also, I admit that some of this is hearsay, so maybe I should just back 
off on this one.

> Regards,
> Martin



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