[Python-Dev] Re: [XML-SIG] Developer's Day

Jean-Claude Wippler jcw@equi4.com
Thu, 16 Dec 1999 20:09:42 +0100

Paul Prescod wrote:
> (irrelevant aside: [...] Most people are sold based on the language
> and its libraries before they start trying to install extensions.)
> [AMK]
> > If installing things is a problem, then we need to
> > buckle down and finish the distutils.  So, overall, I'd still vote
> > against inclusion in 1.6.
> So are you saying that Python 2 might have only five packages and
> everything else must be downloaded? No httplib, no pickle, no random
> or math, no calendar, pwd, grp, imaplib, nntplib, mailbox or rexec?
> When people download Python and go to the library documentation that
> impressive array of BUILT-IN-FEATURES is part of what sells them on
> Python. Hell, I can download all of that stuff for Scheme but what
> makes Python beautiful is that I don't have to download it for Python.
> It's just there. But if an XML person comes to Python after hearing us
> rant about how great it is for processing XML and all they find is
> xmllib...they will be underwhelmed.

(Nodding in agreement)

Could this perhaps be solved with a large batteries-included standard
distribution, plus a real easy/effective way to strip Python down and
wrap things up for deployment?  

In other words, aim for two very distinct goals: everything within easy
reach for development + fully signed-sealed-delivered products.

The first goal can evolve to do fancy net-bourne distribution, even if
it is a brittle process, because this is for Python developers.  They
want it all, so open the floodgate to give it all to them.

The second becomes a matter or pruning down and wrapping up.  All the
way down to an single installation-less executable, if possible.

I may well be wrong (and I'm not tracking distutils), but might it not
be simpler to focus on 1) power users + 2) production-grade deployment,
instead of trying to streamline a tangled-web-of-module-dependencies
into a distribution system which tries to meet a wide range of needs?

> [...] One of the beautiful things about the Python library is that
> everything is at the same version level. When you install it you know
> that everything works together or else it WILL in the next patch level
> if you report the incompatibility.  [...]

More nods.  So why not allow the Python distribution to become very
large - with every release moving to a better-tuned combination of all
the different parts (occasional mishaps can quickly be fixed)?

Plus some tools to dist(ut)il(l) a turnkey solution from this big soup.


-- Jean-Claude