Thu 12 Jul 2012
Today we’re going to take a look at the controversial easy_install method of installing Python modules and packages. We will also learn how to create our own *.egg files. You will need to go get the SetupTools package to follow along. This package doesn’t support Python 3.x so if you need that, see pip or distribute. There will be articles on each of those projects in the future. For now, we’ll be starting with SetupTools and easy_install.
Why is it controversial? I’m not completely certain, but people were not happy with the way it would partially install packages because it doesn’t wait for the download to finish. Also I’ve heard that the author wasn’t very interested in updating it but wouldn’t allow anyone else to update it either. See the Ziade article at the end of this post.
SetupTools is the original mainstream method of downloading and installing Python packages from PyPI and other sources via the command line, kind of like apt-get for Python. When you install SetupTools, it installs a script or exe called easy_install that you can invoke on the command line to install or upgrade packages. It also provides a way to create Python eggs. Let’s spend a little time getting to know this utility. (more…)