setup.py vs autoconf install/uninstall,

R. Bernstein rocky at panix.com
Thu Jan 12 12:38:52 CET 2006


In making a release of the recent changes to pdb.py announce here:
http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.python/browse_thread/thread/b4cb720ed359a733/fbd9f8fef9693e58#fbd9f8fef9693e58
I tried using setup.py. 

I think it's great that setup.py tries to obviate the need for "Make"
by just doing everything. (In contrast to Perl's MakeMaker). But alas
the problems I was running into was setup.py not doing enough (for
just Python).

Here were the problems I ran into. Perhaps someone will be able to
enlighten me.

1. I didn't find a way to uninstall a package.

2. No overwrite install. When I tried to install a newer version of
   the pydb.py, setup.py didn't write over the old file even though
   the files were different and the time on the file installed over
   was older. I'm assuming it uses the version parameter in the setup
   call only. This isn't helpful in testing between release numbers.

3. How to get pydb.doc and pydb.py in the same directory? As python
   2.2.4 is currently distributed, pdb.doc seems to want to be in the
   same directory as pdb.py. A little weird, but that's the way it is.

After reading docs and trying various things I gave up. (At least for
now).  I was then pleasantly surprised to find that automake comes
with macros for Python! (It doesn't have them for Perl.) But lest I
get too elated, in trying one these out, I see that automake had a
different notion of where to install python scripts than python
uses. But no matter since autotools are sufficiently general (however
ugly), I was able to patch around it as I've done so so many times.

And again we have the same thing as was a concern about debuggers:
there are so many configuration tools, only 3 mentioned above. Sigh.







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