Packaging Frameworks

Packaging Renaissance applications (or any other frameworks) takes a bit more care than just wrapping your Python scripts. Today's exercise helps us get our apps out into the world.

Now that we can build cool OS X applications with Python and Renaissance, it would be cool if we could share them with others, wouldn't it. And that stumped me for a bit. We're using py2app to package our scripts as applications, and it knows how to include a framework, but it takes a bit more than that. Specifically, the wrapper which imports the framework into Python has to be a tiny bit smarter. Let's take a look at the wrapper I provided earlier in this series, to go in Python's site-packages/Renaissance/ folder.


import objc, AppKit, Foundation
objc.loadBundle('Renaissance', globals(),
del objc, AppKit, Foundation

And the new, smarter version, which handles bundling.

import objc, AppKit, Foundation, os
if '' in __file__:
    base_path = os.path.join(os.path.dirname(os.getcwd()), 'Frameworks')
    base_path = '/Library/Frameworks'
bundle_path = os.path.abspath(os.path.join(base_path, 'Renaissance.framework'))
objc.loadBundle('Renaissance', globals(), bundle_path=bundle_path)
del objc, AppKit, Foundation, os, base_path, bundle_path

That takes care of importing the Renaissance framework, now we just need to make sure it gets included in our application bundle. You can do this by passing it on the command line

python py2app –framework=Renaissance.framework

But I'd prefer to put it into the so we don't have to remember command-line flags. Py2app is new enough that the documentation is a little rough, but Bob Ippolito (author of py2app) is very responsive on the pythonmac mailing list and he gave the following advice.

If you use a python module that links to Renaissance, it will automatically get included. Otherwise, you have to specify it as a framework.

% python py2app -f Renaissance.framework

(you can specify a full path to the framework or the dylib inside the framework if you want)

or from it would look like:

    app = [...],
    options = dict(py2app=dict(

This command is your friend:

% python –help py2app

Every "long name" in the list corresponds to an option you can pass via the options dict. Hypens are converted to underscores. This same dance works for any distutils command, btw.

That's good to know about distutils, I've had trouble figuring out the mapping between command-line parameters and configuration. So here's the new version of for the browser app:

Smarter example, run with:
% python py2app
from distutils.core import setup
import py2app
    data_files = ['MainMenu.gsmarkup'],
    app = ['',],

There's still a lot more we can do with py2app, like adding custom icons, giving the application a better name, a version, the ability to advertise its ability to open certain types of files, etc. We're just getting to the good stuff.


[] Posted on 2004-11-10 by Dethe Elza

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