Python packages typically are configured and installed through the use
distutils or one of its derivatives. The user performs
necessary actions via a Python script called setup.py. For
simple programs, this is straight-forward. However, for more complex
software packages, especially for those which also include code in
other languages such as C or Fortran, the limitations of the
distutils method quickly become apparent.
The configuration and installation of GNU software and many other programs, on the other hand, is done according to the use of standard configure scripts and Make recipes. This method has the advantage of being language-agnostic, very flexible, time-proven. pyconfigure consists of all the files necessary to use the standard GNU build process to configure and install Python packages.
Without modification, pyconfigure provides a wrapper around setup.py, which allows the user to use the familiar GNU installation commands to install a Python package. With the powerful Autoconf macros that it provides, a Python developer can greatly extend or even replace altogether the capabilities of setup.py. Plus, since this method is language-agnostic, all the power of Autoconf for compiled languages is gained for free.