[Pythonmac-SIG] Distutils for research?

Louis Pecora pecora at anvil.nrl.navy.mil
Tue Dec 13 20:20:41 CET 2005

Bob Ippolito wrote:

> On Dec 13, 2005, at 10:39 AM, Louis Pecora wrote:
>> I will be honest and admit I do not grok disutils.  I sense power  
>> there,
>> but have not had the guts nor time to explore it.  If you have a  simple
>> example that is easy to send, please do.  Since I will probably be  
>> doing
>> more and more with Python, I am trying to expose myself to useful
>> branches of the Python world without becoming overwhelmed.
> You need to understand distutils, or your experience developing  
> Python extensions will be extremely painful.  distutils is not at all  
> difficult.  The documentation is pretty good, and you can always look  
> at the thousands of setup.py files out there written by other Python  
> developers.  Pick a project similar to yours and use its setup.py as  
> a template.
> Or, you can do everything manually and live a painful existence...  
> especially because the correct linker flags and compiler options are  
> a mile long on Mac OS X and totally different than those from any  
> other platform.
> -bob

Bob or anyone,

I have started to look over distutils, but a question immediately comes 
to mind.   With the idea of trying to avoid learning what I don't need, 
I gotta ask:

Is distutils more for distributing packages/modules than developing? 

I ask that because as a scientific/number-cruncher type I rarely give 
anyone my code.  It's developed for my own use and research which is 
typical in the research world.  Most code is a one-of-a-kind and is 
constantly tweaked, reworked, and played with to try new ideas.  So the 
big focus is on the development end:  Edit, compile, debug, crunch 
numbers.  Anything that cuts time in that part of the cycle is great 
(hence the interest in Python for RAD and trials of new ideas).  Stuff 
that helps in distribution is of little help because that's rarely the goal.

Comments/opinions welcome.


Lou Pecora

Code 6362
Naval Research Lab
Washington, DC  20375
Ph:  +202-767-6002
email:  pecora at anvil.nrl.navy.mil

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