Gentoo Archives: gentoo-portage-dev

From: "Michał Górny" <mgorny@g.o>
To: gentoo-portage-dev@l.g.o
Subject: [gentoo-portage-dev] The build system (and install layout) of Portage
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2022 17:22:40
1 Hi, everyone.
3 You've probably had the opportunity to hear that a lot has changed
4 in Python packaging since Portage's was written in 2014. There
5 were some minor changes to keep it working since but it's time to
6 reconsider.
8 Long story short, distutils is strongly deprecated, setuptools
9 deprecated most of the customizations (and we're relying heavily
10 on customizations), PEP 517 doesn't cover our use cases exactly...
11 and it's quite likely that sooner or later our build system will fall
12 apart. On top of that, setuptools is going through a stage of "let's
13 vendor a new dependency every week", so it doesn't look like a feasible
14 long-term solution. A large part of the problem is that Portage is
15 heavily relying on non-Pythonic idioms for installing stuff.
17 At this point, I'd love to use flit for Portage, as that's a nice build
18 system with upstream that understands packagers. I mean, if someone
19 tells me they want to avoid vendoring stuff *and* creating cyclic
20 dependencies (all other Python build systems vendor tons of stuff right
21 now), then I can't but appreciate that very much. That said, I don't
22 think flit is powerful enough to handle all the intricacies Portage
23 requires, starting with the fancy way it's installing scripts to many
24 different directories.
26 An alternative is to go back to using (at least partially) Makefiles or
27 Meson. However, that would have the important drawback that we'd lose
28 the ability to install Portage as a regular Python package (e.g. inside
29 a virtualenv).
31 At this point, I've pretty much lost all motivation to work on it.
32 Nevertheless, it's something that needs to be done eventually. Does
33 anyone have some idea, motivation and will to transition Portage to
34 another build system?
36 --
37 Best regards,
38 Michał Górny