[Pythonmac-SIG] Building multiple command-line( ( CLI ) programs with py2app

Read Roberts rroberts at adobe.com
Sat Jan 14 03:48:44 CET 2006

I would like to distribute about 30 Python command-line programs that use a
single stand-alone Python distribution. Looking at py2app, I only see the
following two ways of doing it. Can anyone suggest a better approach?

In all cases:  build a *.app bundle app with py2app, and then use relative
sym-links to run the command-line binary which is at
so the user can see and access the CLI program without having to cd within
the bundle app.

1) Build a single CLI app that runs a differnet CLI Python file based on the
first command-line argument.
- Build a single Python "<target-name>.app" that imports everything needed
by any of my separate Python apps.
- copy my Python programs into "<target-name>.app/Contents/Resources"
- have the main "<target-name>" Python program  simply do execfile with
sys.argv[1] + ".py"
- document that to run the program in the package, the user needs to say:
"<target-name> <command-name> <command-arguments"

2) Change the "<target-name>.app" start-up data so that you can have several
CLI apps  in "<target-name>.app/Contents/MacOS", usch that  one each runs a
different Python program under "<target-name>.app/Contents/Resources".

I notice that the "<target-name>.app/Contents/Info.plist" file contains the
key-value pair " PyMainFileNames"-"<boot-file-name>".  The CLI program
"<target-name>.app/Contents/MacOS/<target-name>" references this  key name
to get the list of strings, and for each name, will try to run the matching
Python boot file in  "<target-name>.app/Contents/Resources". This boot file
in turn fixes up the Python sys paths, and then uses execfile to run the
Python file "<target-name>.py".

I verified that I can achieve what I want to do here by a crude manual
approach :
- make multiple copies of the "<target-name>" file under
- edit the data string " PyMainFileNames" in each one to be a different
string (of the same length!)
- add key-value pairs to "<target-name>.app/Contents/Info.plist" defining a
different boot-file name value for each different key value
- make multiple copies of the boot file under
"<target-name>.app/Contents/Resources", one for each name I supplied in the
Info.plist file, and edit each so that it starts a different CLI program.

Obviously, for production, I would modify the py2app code to do this.

Any better ideas?

Read Roberts Adobe SJ on Weds, home office 415-642-5642 other days

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