[Python-Dev] [Python-3000] 2.6.1 and 3.0

"Martin v. Löwis" martin at v.loewis.de
Wed Nov 26 21:03:59 CET 2008

> I always wondered why it was necessary to write msi.py in the first 
> place. Maintaining it is surely a big effort and requires understanding
> of a dark library which a few people have (IMO it's a much higher effort 
> than setting up automated tests in a bunch of VM, which you said is "not 
> worth it").
> There are plenty of MSI installer generator programs

Originally it was written because none of the MSI generator programs
were capable of packaging Python. In particular, none was capable of
creating 64-bit packages (which were first needed to create the
Itanium packages).

> and Python's needs 
> do not seem so weird to require a custom MSI generator.

Python's needs are fairly weird, so I'm very skeptical that any other
generator is capable of doing what msi.py does (or, if it was capable
of doing that, that it was then any simpler than msi.py).

The critical part is that you need a powerful way to specify what files
to package (having to select them in a UI is unacceptable, as the set
of files constantly changes - the current generator can cope with many
types of file additions without needing any change).

> I'm sure the 
> Python Software Foundation would easily get a free license of one of the 
> good commercial MSI installer generators.

Can you recommend a specific one?

In addition, I'm also skeptical wrt. commercial setup tools. We had been
using Wise for a while, and it was a management problem because the
license was only available on a single machine - so it was difficult
for anybody else to jump in and do a release.

> In short: if msi.py and the fact it breaks is part of the issue here, 
> it's very easy to solve in my opinion.

I'm very skeptical that this statement is actually true.


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