I don't think setuptools actually does rely on the distutils from the standard library.

One of the first things setuptools does is replace the distutils module in sys.modules with setuptools._distutils. Anywhere else in the codebase that you see any variation on import distutils, you should get code exclusively from setuptools._distutils.

I believe we're disconnecting from distutils and replacing it. I think we should be able to deprecate distutils in Python 3.10. I don't think there's ever been explicit agreement on this point, but my understanding is that we're planning on moving everything from the distutils namespace into setuptools (and we're in the very long and drawn-out process of a massive widdling-down of the functions setuptools / distutils provides, so you can rest assured we'll be deprecating the pointless stuff).


On 7/13/20 9:57 AM, Matthias Klose wrote:
On 7/3/20 5:18 PM, Jason R. Coombs wrote:
I’m pleased to announce the release of Setuptools 48, which adopts the distutils codebase from CPython per pypa/setuptools#417<https://github.com/pypa/setuptools/issues/417> and pypa/packaging-problems#127<https://github.com/pypa/packaging-problems/issues/127>.

Given the amount of change this effort involved, it’s likely unstable and thus the major version bump. Please report issues at the Setuptools issue tracker. I’ll be around today (IRC, Gitter, Slack) to either disable the functionality or add an escape hatch if needed.
Thanks for doing that!

At the Python language summit in 2018, I proposed to deprecate and maybe remove
distutils from CPython. When looking at setuptools 49.3, I see that
setuptools/_distutils still relies on distutils as distributed in CPython. Is
this really wanted?  I see distutils / setuptools mostly as a build time tool,
which doesn't have to be installed at runtime, that's why you have a separate
binary package in Debian/Ubuntu, called python3-setuptools.

Examples for unexpected / creative usages, which are unrelated to building a
package are:

 - distutils.version
   Used “everywhere”, moved back to the python package in Debian/Ubuntu.
   This maybe should be replaced by using distlib.version.

 - distutils.spawn: find_executable
   Replace with shutil.which, this can definitely go, because there's
   a replacement in the Python3 standard library, and starting with
   48.x, setuptools only targets Python3.

 - distutils.util: strtobool
   Rewrite, no equivalent in the stdlib?

 - distutils.sysconfig:
   Mostly replaced by sysconfig

Maybe I'm missing something, but as I currently see setuptools it has to follow
CPython's ongoing changes in distutils, without an option to deprecate distutils
any time soon, and it still provides things which from my point of view, it
shouldn't provide.

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