On 29 May 2000, Rene Liebscher said:
If I try 'help' to sdist and bdist, I get 'formats' and 'format'. I think we should change this so both are called 'format'.
Not quite. First, we have to change it so both of them can take multiple formats. For obscure, annoying reasons (which I have since forgotten and which may have changed), "bdist" can only take one format -- ie. the syntax is inconsistent because the semantics are inconsistent. Fix the semantics, and we can fix the syntax.
Oh, now I remember: because many formats map to the "bdist_dumb" command, and because the command life-cycle used to be strictly linear. That has been fixed, so it should be possible to run "bdist_dumb" multiple times with multiple formats. (The option is to complicate "bdist_dumb" so it can generate multiple formats in one go; I dislike this because it means duplicating the "multiple formats" logic in "bdist" and "bdist_dumb".)
I've added this to my todo list -- have to think about the consequences a bit, but offhand it should work.