[Numpy-discussion] parallel compilation of numpy

Andrew Straw strawman@astraw....
Thu Feb 19 01:26:52 CST 2009

David Cournapeau wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 3:24 PM, Andrew Straw <strawman@astraw.com> wrote:
>> It's an interesting idea to build Python package distributions without
>> distutils. For pure Python installables, if all you seek better is
>> distutils, the bar seems fairly low.
> :) Being better than distutils is not difficult, indeed - that is if
> you don't care about backward compatibility with distutils (which I
> don't personally - since distutils is implementation defined, I don't
> see any way to be backward compatible and be a significant improvement
> at the same time).
Maybe if you need a level of backward compatibility, (and really, to 
gain a decent audience for this idea, I think you do need some level of 
backward compatibility) the new tool could emit setup.py files for 
consumption by distutils as a fallback plan. I could imagine 
auto-generating a setup.py is easier than emulating distutils, 
particularly if your concept starts simple. Furthermore, if you're not 
opposed to dropping in your own distutils monkeypatches, like lots of 
other packages, you probably could do anything you wanted. For example, 
bypassing the build_ext command and injecting the built products into 
the distutils install command.

This monkeypatching idea is not even so unpalatable if one remembers 
that monkeypatching, which is quite common, makes it literally 
impossible to emulate distutils without being distutils.
> I will refrain from speaking about setuptools :) But the above problem
> is the same for distutils and setuptools, and exactly the fundamental
> issue. If distutils was conceived as a set of lousely coupled modules
> for tools, build, distribution, it would have been fixable. In the
> case of setuptools, it was a conscious decision to force setuptools on
> python world,
This reminds of Linus' criticism of svn: its goal is to be a better cvs. 
Said dripping with incredulity due to his perception of the fatal flaws 
of CVS. Well, I think (parts of) setuptools are better than distutils, 
but by being distutils+, it will always share the same flawed genetic 

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