[Python-Dev] Can Python Be Built Without Distutils

Zachary Ware zachary.ware at gmail.com
Sat Jan 24 21:23:05 CET 2015

On Saturday, January 24, 2015, Brett Cannon <brett at python.org> wrote:

> On Fri Jan 23 2015 at 5:45:28 PM Gregory P. Smith <greg at krypto.org
> <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','greg at krypto.org');>> wrote:
>> On Fri Jan 23 2015 at 11:20:02 AM M.-A. Lemburg <mal at egenix.com
>> <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','mal at egenix.com');>> wrote:
>>> On 23.01.2015 19:48, Matthias Klose wrote:
>>> > On 01/23/2015 06:30 PM, Cyd Haselton wrote:
>>> >> Related to my earlier question regarding building Python on Android
>>> >> and an undefined reference to dlopen error...I have the following
>>> >> question:  Is it possible to build and install Python without having
>>> >> to build and install...or use...distutils?
>>> >>
>>> >> Some background:
>>> >> I can build the python interpreter on my device, and I can build a
>>> >> bunch of modules.  The problem appears when make reaches the part
>>> >> where setup.py is used to build and import modules...specifically when
>>> >> setup.py attempts to import distutils.core.
>>> >
>>> > you can do this using Setup.local. This works for me building
>>> additional
>>> > extensions as builtins.  It might require some tweaking to build
>>> everything.
>>> You may want to have a look at the Setup files we're using
>>> in eGenix PyRun, which uses them to force static builds of the
>>> various built-in extensions.
>>> Look for these files:
>>> PyRun/Runtime/Setup.PyRun-2.7
>>> PyRun/Runtime/Setup.PyRun-3.4
>>> in the source archives:
>>> http://www.egenix.com/products/python/PyRun/
>>> > Otoh, I would like to get rid off the setup.py altogether (/me ducks
>>> ...).
>>> Why ? It's great for finding stuff on your system and configuring
>>> everything without user intervention (well, most of the time :-)).
>> Because our setup.py is a nightmare of arbitrary code run in a linear
>> fashion with ad-hoc checks for things that are unlike how any other project
>> on the planet determines what is available on your system.  It may have
>> seemed "great" when it was created in 2001.  It really shows its age now.
>> It defeats build parallelism and dependency declaration.
>> It also prevents cross compilation.
>> Building an interpreter with a limited standard library on your build
>> host so that you can run said interpreter to have it drive the remainder of
>> your build is way more self hosting that we rightfully need to be for
>> CPython.
> So are you suggesting to add the build rules to configure and the Makefile
> -- and Windows build file -- in order to drop setup.py?

Windows already doesn't use setup.py. There are a lot more modules built-in
on Windows, and others have their own project files; distutils isn't used
at all.

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