crossplatform py2exe - would it be useful?

Alex Martelli aleax at aleax.it
Sat Aug 9 19:11:57 CEST 2003


Bengt Richter wrote:
   ...
> Is there a big difference for you between e.g.,
> 
>     wget <some url>/py2exefiedapp.exe
>     py2exefiedapp
> 
> and
> 
>     wget <some url>/py2exefiedapp.uff
>     uffunwrap --launch exefiedapp.uff

Yes.  Specifically, in the first case (on a Unix-like system) I could
interpose a suitable set-userid setting change such as:

    sudo chmod u+s py2exefiedapp

while in the second case I couldn't.

Furthermore, my cousin, who has installed no extras at all compared
to what comes with his operating system (and runs an operating system
without 'apt-get', 'urpmi', or similar 'download-on-demand' functionality)
would still be able to take full advantage of the first approach w/o
having to previously install ANY other piece of software; to take
advantage of the second approach, he would have to first download and
install 'uffunwrap', and he just ain't gonna do that.

That's two strikes against the ".uff" approach and in favour of the
'.exe' one.  I can see potential advantages for the '.uff', too, in
widely different scenarios; but these issues indicate to me that it
just can't replace the '.exe'.  Therefore, I would suggest you pursue
the .uff as a third-party alternative -- while, on the other hand,
"makers of .exe's" have long been available as third-party alternatives,
and the thrilling aspect of this latest round of ideas is that we seem
to be very close to being able to integrate them in the Python standard
distribution, with a resulting potential for an interesting boost to
Python's popularity.  It makes a psychological difference, quite a big
one, whether some functionality is integrated in a standard distribution
or has to be separately downloaded and installed as a third-party add-on.

"Ability to build directly executable files" would make a big 'selling'
point if it were in Python's standard distribution, while "ability to
wrap files into an archive which still needs a separate utility to
unwrap and run", useful as it may be, just doesn't have the same level
of raw appeal to typical punters currently wondering about Python.


Alex





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