distutils and Debian

Sam Holden sholden at flexal.cs.usyd.edu.au
Fri Nov 12 01:04:14 CET 2004

On Thu, 11 Nov 2004 09:45:24 -0500, Colin J. Williams <cjw at sympatico.ca> wrote:
> Istvan Albert wrote:
>> Robert Kern wrote:
>>> only depend on the main python package. Most packages that need Python 
>>> *don't* need distutils or the C headers or the static library.
>> The *devel* branch in my interpretation means the distribution
>> that contains the files used during the development of the
>> application itself. For example the C headers
>> that you mention.
>> But it should not mean removing support
>> for installing new scripts for the runtime
>> application!
>> Distutils is primarily about installing and distributing
>> python programs and it has little to do with developing
>> python itself. Some packages will not
>> be installable without the devel branch but removing
>> distutils to head off that situation seems very odd.
>> Istvan.
> I'm inclined to agree with this.

But -dev in debian doesn't mean that.

-dev in debian means the stuff you need to develop *with* that
package. The "python" package allows the running of python scripts
that exist in other packages. The "python-dev" package allows the
creation of new python scripts. Installing a python script
from an external source is equivalent to creating it from this

Just like "libc6" allows the running of programs linked with the
c library that exist in other packages. The "libc6-dev" package is
required if you want to create new programs that link with the
c library (since it contains the header files, while "libc6" contains
only shared libs (and timezone data files)).

It's a debian thing. That other distributions (and other systems) use
a different naming and package scheme is irrelevant.

Sam Holden

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