Martijn Faasen suggested this solution in a comment on my previous post and I think it’s the best. I created a new service:
I simply posted a patched ZODB3 source distribution on a virtual-hosted server. The first tarball, “ZODB3-3.8.1-polling-serial.tar.gz”, includes both the invalidation polling patch and the framework I created for plugging in data serialization formats other than pickles, but in the near future I plan to also post distributions with just the polling patch and some eggs for Windows users.
It would not make sense for me to post the patched tarballs and eggs on PyPI because I don’t want people to pull these patched versions accidentally. Pulling these needs to be an explicit step.
Thanks to setuptools and zc.buildout, it turns out that creating a Python code distribution server is a piece of cake. The buildout process scans the HTML pages on distribution servers for <a> links. Any link that points to a tarball or egg with a version number is considered a candidate. A static web site can easily fulfill these requirements. I imagine it gets deeper than that, but for now, that’s all I need.
To use this tarball, buildout.cfg just needs to include lines something like:
[buildout] find-links = http://packages.willowrise.org versions = versions [versions] ZODB3 = 3.8.1-polling-serial
zc.buildout does the rest.
It took a while to find this solution because, upon encountering the need to distribute patched eggs, I guessed it would be difficult to set up and maintain my own package distribution server. I also guessed setuptools had no support for patches in its versioning scheme. I’m glad I was completely wrong.
By the way, Ian suggested pip as a solution, but I don’t yet see how it helps. I am interested. I hope to see more of pip on Ian’s great blog.