[reportlab-users] Install fails under virtualenv

Tim Lesher tlesher at gmail.com
Tue Jun 10 21:31:59 EDT 2008

On Tue, Jun 10, 2008 at 5:52 PM, Robin Becker <robin at reportlab.com> wrote:

> unfortunately I think a lot of the setup.py code has been contributed by

> more than one person. I think the DATA_FILES setup is attempting to ensure

> that non-python code/data gets placed at the right place. It's using

> distutils' view of where home should be, not what distutils will really use.

> I suppose that code is now bad for your usage. Does anyone know the semantic

> difference between date_files and package_data?

The short answer is "data_files has been around for a long time;
package_data was added in 2.4 to address just this issue. :-)"

The data_files directive takes a dict mapping destination directories
(relative to sys.prefix) to lists of files to put there. (

The package_data directive takes a dict mapping package names to lists of
files to put into wherever that package is being installed (essentially
doing what reportlabs' setup.py is trying to do by hand in package_home). (

I don't know the history of the reportlabs code, but I suspect that the code
in setup.py predates the existence of distutils' package_data feature. All
of the files in the data_files are being, in fact, copied into the
reportlabs package tree.

The only refinement I can see is that for the files being copied into
reportlabs/tools/xxxx, they could be added to mappings for the appropriate
subpackage rather than reportlabs itself, but in reality it amounts to the
same place.

Tim Lesher <tlesher at gmail.com>
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