[Pythonmac-SIG] Optional BSD package is required for (useable) Python?

Bob Ippolito bob at redivi.com
Tue May 11 18:25:12 EDT 2004

On May 11, 2004, at 4:51 PM, Tom Pollard wrote:

> On Tue, May 11, 2004 at 04:18:31PM -0400, Bob Ippolito wrote:
>>> I really don't think it's a big deal to simply tell the naive users 
>>> who
>>> go out of their way to deselect the BSD layer that they screwed up 
>>> and
>>> now they have to install it if they want to use your software.  It's
>>> not that hard to determine the presence of the BSD layer.
> I think this condescending language about users "screwing up" their 
> MacOS X installation by leaving out the BSD subsystem is a little bit 
> bizarre and unprofessional.  If it's an optional install, then Apple 
> clearly disagrees with that point of view (as do I).

There's a whole heck of a lot of software that'll fall on its face if 
it's not there, including some of their own (fax cover sheets, for 
example).  I'm obviously not suggesting that you should tell the user 
that they "screwed up" in those words, but you would pop up a message 
in the installer check script or on app execution that says something 
along the lines of:

FooApplication depends on the BSD subsystem of Mac OS X.  Normally this 
is installed by default, but it does not appear to be present on your 
system.  To install the BSD Subsystem, insert the Mac OS X Installation 
CD 1, or your hardware restore disc, and install BSD.pkg from 
/System/Installation/Packages.  Please be sure to also run Software 
Update after this installation.

This could easily be done from my executable stub by replacing the 
__error__.sh script with an implementation that prints this message.

> On May 11, 2004, at 4:26 PM, Nicholas Riley wrote:
>> So why can't packaged apps use the bundle Python too?  From some of
>> the other emails I got the idea that Python was unusable without the
>> BSD layer installed,
> There's a python startup script in the package created by 
> bundle-builder that sets a couple of environment variables and invokes 
> python to run the bundled script.  It is solely in order to run this 
> script that the BSD environment needs to be installed.  It could 
> easily be replaced with a /bin/sh script if it was considered 
> important to support users who didn't have /usr/bin/python installed 
> already.  That's the only change that would be required.

No, /bin/sh doesn't provide the execve functionality required.  Perl 
might, though, but it's not worth doing when your application is going 
to fall over silently anyway if the BSD subsystem is not there.

> The last time I brought this up, Bob Ippolito explained that this 
> would make it impossible to use the bundled app as a "regular" app 
> from both the Finder and the command line, but I never really 
> appreciated that point.  It sounded like bundle-builder2 would 
> eliminate the problem in a more robust way, so it didn't seem worth 
> pursuing.  But, if I was going to ship an app based on the current 
> bundle-builder, I would definitely hack it to use a shell startup 
> script instead of the python script.

No, you should use the executable stub I developed instead.  Even if 
you could find another suitable surrogate scripting language to do the 
dance, it would silently pass errors to the console, where my stub 
allows GUI reporting and customized error handling with a lot of nice 
features that you'd want when shipping a python-dependent application.


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