[Python-Dev] "setuptools has divided the Python community"

Steven Bethard steven.bethard at gmail.com
Wed Mar 25 20:05:19 CET 2009

On Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 7:08 AM, Paul Moore <p.f.moore at gmail.com> wrote:
> I use Python for systems admin scripts, Windows services, and database
> management. In my experience (and I agree, it's only one, limited, use
> case) availability of download-and-run bdist_wininst installers for
> every package I used was the only significant requirement I had for
> Python package distribution (I remember pre-distutils days, when being
> able to install a 3rd party package on Windows was a nightmare of
> build-it-yourself guesswork).
> Since setuptools came on the scene, I can state with some certainty
> that many packages which would otherwise have been distributed as
> bdist_wininst installers, now aren't. In some cases, only source
> packages are provided (on the basis that easy_install will build what
> you need). In those cases, I can accept that maybe the developer would
> not have built Windows installers even before setuptools arrived. But
> in a significant number of cases - including setuptools itself!!!! -
> binary, version-specific eggs for Windows are provided, but no
> bdist_wininst installers. If the developer is willing to build an egg,
> he could just as easily have built an installer - but he now has to
> choose - build one or the other, or both. And not everyone chooses the
> same way.

I'd just like to chime in and agree with Paul here. I'm a Windows
user, and I won't install a Python module that I can't get as a
wininst (or preferably a .msi), because I prefer to use the Windows
package management system, not some Python specific thing. I can
generally build installers myself for Python-only packages, but binary
ones are harder. And I've seen several projects with exactly the kind
of thing Paul describes - where a good Windows installer would
probably have been available if it weren't for the interference of

I'm not *in*-sane. Indeed, I am so far *out* of sane that you appear a
tiny blip on the distant coast of sanity.
        --- Bucky Katt, Get Fuzzy

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