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Example of installing a comand line tool via pip/easy_install

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Example command line tool install using easy_install/pip/etc

This builds a tiny egg that installs two command line tools, 'cltool' and 'cltool2'. cltool is a command line tool that uses raw bash, cltool2 is a python script that can be run as a command line tool.

This project was written to teach myself how to do this, and due to the dearth of good tutorials.

## Installing cltool
To install cltool, you can simply run
pip install cltool
Once that is done, cltool package will be installed, and the commands *cltool*, *cltool2* and *cltool3* will be avaliable from your command line. If you want to see exactly which cltool or cltool2 was installed, you can simply run
which cltool
to see where on your system python deposits it's scripts linkage.

# Some of the Nifty Stuff in

## use the future but avoid unicode though
The __future__ import block is to make forward compatiblity with Python3 easier. Usually it looks like:
from __future__ import ( unicode_literals, print_function, with_statement, absolute_import )
Howerver in our installer it is
from __future__ import ( print_function, with_statement, absolute_import )

When building an installer, unicode_literals has some bugs related to the fact that zip file format (and many zip tools) don't process unicode filenames well. In installers, it's ofter quicker to remove that line then to fight the errors.

## Try to use distrbute, but fallback if you need to
The initial try block is trying to use new distribute_setup rather than the older setuptools. I'm not entirely sure of the diference, but I've seen several things on the internet suggesting it's the way to do things.

## Version can be tricky
The version search assumes version is saved as __version__ (some older packages use VERSION) in the init file of the project. It aslo assomes version is an outright variable, not built from some other value or object. Double check where and how version is used before using it. Some people import the project to get the version number, but I've encountered some weird bugs trying that. Although it's a hack, I suggest the file-search version of getting the module version.

#Use 'where' for package search readability
For clarity, I always set 'where' in find_packages. It makes clearer reading for people new to your project/system.

## scripts, the magic
The setup value 'scripts' is where the magic is for *os specific tools* That simple line does the work of grabbing those scripts, and adding them to the path on the installed system when the install happens. Sadly, this is not very cross-platform, so .exe wrappers are not created for windows. For cross platform magic, see the entry_points info below

# entry_points, even moar magic!
The setup value 'entry_points' is even more magical. Entry_points in general is used to give other packags info on where to connect to your module. The'console_scripts' value in entry_poinst is the most magic, and **as your module installs, the host OS will build what it needs to run that at the commandline*. It's magic!!!1 The entry is in the form of :

entrypoints = { 'console_scripts': ['cmdline_tool_name= package:function_to_run',] }

For my example app, that line is:

'console_scripts': [ 'cltool4= cltool:command_line_runner',] },
On windows you will get a proper .exe created and added to your path. On *nix programs you get a small script that launches that entry point. In both cases, the installing host handles the problem of how to make sure the console tool works.

# Testins
Testing a distributed package can be tough. I have a separate file called TESTING which covers how to test a new package in full. For quick and dirty testing you can run two lines to see how things work.

python sdist bdist_egg # build your egg, and your standard distribution
python develop #do a developer install in that console window

As always *python develop --help* will give you some great commands and semi-clear notes on what they do. If you want to use pypitest to test the module before releasing, see the TESTING doc for more info.

# Releasing
Once you have tweaked, tested, and are sure your module (mostly) works, you can publish your module to PyPi so that other users can run *pip install <module>* and use it. I recommend reading for more info on how to release. But if you just want to release it quick and dirty, you can do that (by registering at PyPi)[] and then running:

python register sdist bdist_egg upload

#See Also:

Happy Hacking,
- (Far McKon)[]

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