setuptools catch 22

Mac bob.uuca at
Thu Apr 16 17:39:10 CEST 2009

We've got ActiveState Python 2.6 installed on a Windows XP box, and I
pulled down the latest archgenxml package (2.2) in order to get it
running under this installation of Python.  I unpacked the tarball for
the package and tried running `python build' but got an
ImportError exception: "no module named setuptools."  So back to
Google, where I find, which
says "[For Windows] install setuptools using the provided .exe
installer."  I go down to the bottom of the page and I see that there
is no .exe installer for Python 2.6.  All there is for that version of
Python is setuptools-0.6c9-py2.6.egg.  I get the impression from the
references to "Python Eggs" on the setuptools page that setuptools is
a utility for installing Python Eggs.  So we're supposed to use a
utility that isn't installed yet to install that utility?  Does anyone
else understand how lame this is?  From where I stand, the story for
installation of third-party packages in Python is a sad, confused
mess, and the Achilles heel of a language of which in all other
respects I think very highly.

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