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

Michael Foord fuzzyman at voidspace.org.uk
Wed Nov 26 21:21:46 CET 2008

Martin v. Löwis wrote:
>> 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).

Wix is an msi creator (open source) that takes XML files as the input. 
It is also capable of creating 64bit installers. At Resolver Systems we 
use CPython scripts to generate the XML as input for Wix.

It would still need *some* code therefore, but maybe simpler if someone 
wanted to do the work. :-)

It would work well with the files being generated from an XML templating 
language like Mako which is what we will be switching to at Resolver 


Michael Foord

>> 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.
> Regards,
> Martin
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