[Python-Dev] Packaging and binary distributions for Python 3.3

"Martin v. Löwis" martin at v.loewis.de
Fri Oct 14 16:07:54 CEST 2011

> I can't really comment on this. I agree in principle with what you're
> saying, but I know little about the MSI format so I can't say much
> more. It feels to me like you're suggesting that the MSI file
> encapsulate the file layout logic that already has to exist in
> pysetup, though, which sounds like duplication of effort. Can MSI call
> out to pysetup to actually install the files and save this
> duplication?

I'm not sure what exactly it is that pysetup does, so I can't say
whether there is any duplication. It's possibly to have post-install
actions in MSI, so if the files get put into (some) place at first,
it would be possible to copy/link them to whatever layout is needed.

What I'd like to avoid is that people need to create too many different
packages on Windows, for different use cases. It would be better if
the author/packager could create one Windows distribution, and have
that work in all use cases.

As for MSI: it's primary advantages over bdist_wininst is the
higher flexibility of integration into systems maintenance
infrastructures. UI-less installation, installation through
Active Directory, nested installation (as part of some bundle
of installers) are all supported by MSI out of the box. IMO,
the primary reason to keep bdist_wininst (besides popularity)
is that you need to run the packaging on Windows to create an
MSI file, whereas bdist_wininst can be created cross-platform
(as long as there are no binary extension modules). In addition,
bdist_wininst is better wrt. to repeated installations. I'd
prefer a setup though where the same package can work in
multiple installations without requiring physical copies.


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