9 Jul 2004 ashtong   » (Observer)

The agony of choice

I've recently started working on a small GNOME application for monitoring a log server and alerting system administrators when "interesting" things happen. It's written in Python, and the majority of the functionality is completed.

It's hosted on SourceForge already, but I've not released any packages. I want to make it very easy for people to install (there's nothing worse than going to the bother to download a new app in the hope that it's going to be really useful to you, only to find that you can't install it).

So I need some installation scripts. I immediately thought of autoconf/automake, but I don't know the first thing about how to use them and can't find any good docs on how to package a GNOME Python app.

I decided the best bet would be to have a look at how other people have done it, and the first Python GNOME app I thought of was Straw. It turned out (much to my surprise) that Straw uses Python's own distutils, which are great (but sadly wouldn't teach me anything new). So I've got a good example of how to package a non-trivial GNOME app with distutils.

Then I discovered (quite by chance) that GNOME Blog (with which I'm writing this entry) is also written in Python and is packaged with autoconf/automake. I think I'll try modelling my install scripts on GNOME Blog's, with the online version of the Autotools Book to hand and see how much I can learn in the process. If I can come up with a suitable cookbook style approach I might write it up here...

Isn't choice a wonderful thing.

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