In practice, this is somewhat of a side issue. The question of whether desktop files or manual pages "work under
sys.prefix" is only significant if someone is arguing that wheels need to support installation of files to locations outside of
sys.prefix - and I don’t think anyone is still trying to make that argument.
What we’re left with now, as far as I can see, is that the wheel spec supports custom install locations for any named path that is supported by
sysconfig supports 8 paths (from the Python docs):
- stdlib : directory containing the standard Python library files that are not platform-specific.
- platstdlib : directory containing the standard Python library files that are platform-specific.
- platlib : directory for site-specific, platform-specific files.
- purelib : directory for site-specific, non-platform-specific files.
- include : directory for non-platform-specific header files.
- platinclude : directory for platform-specific header files.
- scripts : directory for script files.
- data : directory for data files.
Adding extra install locations is as simple as getting some extra locations added to the sysconfig module. It’s also exactly as hard as doing that - doing anything outside of the stdlib still requires getting agreement on locations for all platforms, supporting virtualenvs, handling ways of letting distros customise the locations, etc. I suspect people have a view that there’s an “easier” way than getting sysconfig changed, but honestly, I doubt that’s the case in practice.
So I think the “new standard” here might simply be a matter of requesting new install locations for the sysconfig module.