[reportlab-users] easy_install reportlab

Andy Robinson andy at reportlab.com
Wed Dec 9 10:40:38 EST 2009

We've just made some changes which should hopefully allow the above to
work a bit better. However, it's not perfect. Here is how we think
it will work for our version 2.4 in January - comments welcome, and
there are daily builds below you can try out now.

1. ReportLab still uses distutils, not setuptools.

2. "easy_install reportlab" should (when it's been released) fetch it
and compile our C extensions (renderPM and _rl_accel). Previously,
this failed under easy_install (even thought it worked with "setup.py
install" because setuptools does not support some of the ways we were
laying out C code previously.

3. We do NOT list the Python Imaging Library (PIL) as a dependency,
because setuptools cannot correctly download and install it. When you
install PIL via setuptools, it appears to work but you cannot
successfully execute "from PIL import Image", only "import Image".
So, we're just going to tell people clearly in our manuals and
download pages to install PIL. If we feel really brave we might
suggest a change to the effbot to get around this.

4. Note that even if we could sort out (3), we still need PIL to have
been compiled with FreeType2, and there is no way we know of for the
reportlab setup script to make requests like that of dependent

5. easy_install, as usual, unpacks things into a temporary directory,
then installs just the libraries into the relevant site_packages area.
So, if we refer people to our (copious) docs and tests, they will
have a hard time finding them. By contrast people who manually get
the distro will have them in their temporary area. I am not sure
what "easy" developers expect in terms of docs and tests and would
welcome .

6. At this moment we have done nothing about RTL (Arabic etc). If
this makes it in, which is far from certain, it will introduce another
"optional C dependency" on pyfribidi or PyICU.

To try out the current state of affairs you can grab a daily version with

easy_install http://www.reportlab.org/ftp/reportlab-daily-unix.tar.gz
easy_install http://www.reportlab.org/ftp/reportlab-daily-win32.zip

Best Regards,

Andy Robinson
CEO/Chief Architect
ReportLab Europe Ltd.
Media House, 3 Palmerston Road, Wimbledon, London SW19 1PG, UK
Tel +44-20-8545-1570

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