[reportlab-users] easy_install reportlab

Andy Robinson andy at reportlab.com
Fri Dec 11 10:22:04 EST 2009

2009/12/10 Marius Gedminas <marius at gedmin.as>:

> You may want to skip setuptools and try Distribute -- it's a setuptools

> fork, with additional bug fixes and Python 3 support, which seems to be

> gearing up to replace setuptools.  It's backwards-compatible with

> setuptools, and it's more actively maintained.

Aaarrrggghhhhh! There's now THREE ways to do it.

My "manager's answer" is that nothing will change for our 2.4 release.
If Guido blesses Distribute in the future or something goes into
Python 3, then we might reconsider. We use plain old distutils, but
try to play nicely with easy_install.

>  * binary eggs are good for Win32 systems, since people usually don't

>    have a C compiler

I am not sure if this relates to us at all. We have never
deliberately 'made an egg' of any kind since we do not use setuptools.
Apparently files ending in .egg get created these days when you run
certain installation tools, but not by us!

For Windows we have provided .exe installers built with bdist_wininst,
and we provided our own source distro simply by tarring up what came
from subversion. We could not see any advantage to using 'sdist'
last time round, but we then discovered that .

> So I'm happy to hear that you plan to only upload sdists to PyPI and

> have the users build the C extensions for their systems.

We plan to continue with the Windows .exe installers. Frankly we're
too busy to worry about Mac just now, but we have the hardware and
might tackle it if we get time. Hopefully the Debian/Ubuntu guys will
do their bit too.

>> 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.


> That would be great!

Which of my two statements do you refer to? ;-)

> I don't really expect docs/tests with packages that are installed using

> easy_install.  I expect to find docs on the web, in some easy-to-find

> location (e.g. http://pypi.python.org -> find the package -> look for

> "Home page" link in the metadata, or a documentation link directly in

> the long_description) and, to some extent, with pydoc.

It's a good point. Everywhere (web page, FAQ, manuals, PyPI notes),
we'll try to explain that they are in the source distro, and that even
if you have easy_installed, you can still download it and look at

> Some people strongly propagate shipping the tests directly in a

> subpackage, so you'd have


>  .../lib/python2.x/site-packages/reportlab/tests/__init__.py

We used to do that for both docs and tests but stripped them out a
couple of years ago after people told us they preferred the opposite.

> Also, to make the tests/examples more easily accessible, you may want to

> set the zip_safe flag to False in your setup.py.  Many people (myself

> included) think installing zipped eggs is a bad idea (inconvenient,

> slower than unzipped eggs) and are a bit unhappy with easy_install for

> attempting to use zipped eggs by default.

I think you just explained something which has been confusing me for
ages. So setuptools magically takes reportlab, puts it in a zip file
and tries to run it from there?

It's bad enough having to learn about a package in order to use it.
With setuptools, it seems you need to learn about it to STOP using it.

> Seems to work, at least easy_install didn't complain.

Thanks for feedback! We're working on the last couple of warts now
- making sure graphics tests have the fonts they need to run, and

- Andy

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