[Python-Dev] request for comments - standardization of python's purelib and platlib

David Lyon david.lyon at preisshare.net
Sat Aug 15 02:59:02 CEST 2009

Hi Tarek,

What is needed is to remove/refactor the hardcoding of paths that
currently exists within distutils and replace it with the ability to 
override the defaults via configuration files. (distutils.cfg?)

If there's one thing that's certain for the future, its that
python will go onto more platforms. Using different paths.

When people are complaining about paths being hard-coded into
distutils and it causing angst, I think that their complaints are

I can find posts going back to 2004 for windows users complaining
about exactly the same thing. So it isn't a new issue. The problem
applies to both linux and windows.

Anyway.. do you know the code that we're talking about?


On Fri, 14 Aug 2009 10:02:03 +0200, Tarek Ziadé <ziade.tarek at gmail.com>
> On Thu, Aug 13, 2009 at 9:22 PM, Brett Cannon<brett at python.org> wrote:
>> On Thu, Aug 13, 2009 at 11:23, Jan Matejek <jan.matejek at novell.com>
>> wrote:
>>> Hello,
>>> I'm cross-posting this to distributions at freedesktop and python-dev,
>>> because the topic is relevant to both groups and should be solved in
>>> cooperation.
>>> The issue:
>>> In Python's default configuration (on linux), both purelib (location
>>> pure python modules) and platlib (location for platform-dependent
>>> extensions) point to $prefix/lib/pythonX.Y/site-packages.
>>> That is no good for two main reasons.
>>> One, python depends on the "lib" directory. (from distro's point of
>>> view, prefix is /usr, so let's talk /usr/lib) Due to this, it's
>>> impossible to install python under /usr/lib64 without heavy patching.
>>> Repeated attempts to bring python developers to acknowledge and rectify
>>> the situation have all failed (common argument here is "that would mean
>>> redesign of distutils and huge parts of whatnot").
>> This is now Tarek's call, so this may or may not have changed in terms
>> what the (now) distutils maintainer thinks.
> I don't recall those repeated attempts , but I've been around for less
> than two years.
> You are very welcome to come in the Distutils-SIG ML to discuss these
> matters.
> I'm moving the discussion there.
> Among the proposals you have detailed, the sharedir way seems like the
> most simple/interesting
> one (depending on you answer to Brett's question )
> Regards
> Tarek

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