Python Distutils-SIG: Documentation

User Documents

Two documents are being written to cover the Distutils:

  • Installing Python Modules (PDF, PostScript, HTML) This is for end-users, system administrators, and Python programmers who need to install third-party modules to their existing Python installation. It focusses on using the Distutils, but also covers older ways of installing Python modules and extensions.
  • Distributing Python Modules (PDF, PostScript, HTML) This is for module and extension developers who want to share their efforts with the world using the Distutils. It covers writing the setup script and using it to create a source distribution and "built" (binary) distributions (thus, it's also useful for packagers -- people turning other developer's source distributions into built distributions for a particular platform).
Both of these will be included in the standard documentation set for Python 1.6, and both are very much works-in-progress.

Planning, Requirements, and Design Documents

The Distutils did not spring magically into existence one day; a considerable amount of forethought was required, and some of it was even written down. In roughly chronological order:

IPC8 Paper/Presentation

A the Eighth International Python Conference (January 2000), I gave a talk on the Distutils and published a paper in the conference proceedings. The paper is available as:

I updated the paper a bit and submitted it to the Software Carpentry competition; you might want to read the updated version of the paper instead.

You can also download the slides from my presentation. I haven't figured out how to get Applixware to generate HTML from the slides (grumble), so for now you can download the slides for: