Paver’s Features

Files Are Just Python

Python has a very concise, readable syntax. There’s no need to create some mini-language for describing your builds. Quite often it seems like these mini-languages are missing features that you need. By using Python as its syntax, you can always be sure that you can express whatever it is you need to do easily. A for loop is just a for loop:

for fn in ["f1.txt", "f2.txt", "f3.txt"]:
    p = path(fn)

One File with One Syntax

When putting together a Python project today, you get into a collection of tools to get the job done. distutils and setuptools are the standards for getting packages put together. zc.buildout and virtualenv are used for installation into isolated deployment environments. Sphinx provides a great way to document Python projects.

To put together a total system, you need each of these parts. But they each have their own way of working. The goal with the Paver Standard Library is to make the common tools have a more integrated feel, so you don’t have to guess as much about how to get something done.

As of today, Paver is tightly integrated with distutils and setuptools, and can easily work as a drop-in, more easily scriptable replacement for

Easy file operations

Paver includes a customized version of Jason Orendorff’s awesome module. Operations on files and directories could hardly be easier, and the methods have been modified to support “dry run” behavior.

Small bits of behavior take small amounts of work

Imagine you need to do something that will take you 5 lines of Python code. With some of the tools that Paver augments, it’ll take you a lot more effort than those 5 lines of code. You have to read about the API for making new commands or recipes or otherwise extending the package. The goal when using Paver is to have a five line change take about five lines to make.

For example, let’s say you need to perform some extra work when and ‘sdist’ is run. Good luck figuring out the best way to do that with distutils. With Paver, it’s just:

def sdist():
    # perform fancy file manipulations

    # *now* run the sdist

Can Take Advantage of Libraries But Doesn’t Require Them

The Paver Standard Library includes support for a lot of the common tools, but you don’t necessarily need all of those tools, and certainly not on every project. Paver is designed to have no other requirements but to automatically take advantage of other tools when they’re available.