I'll share my thoughts on the other points when I have some time, but I'd like to address this one now:
Paul Moore wrote:
PS I have a paranoid feeling that there's a subtext somewhere here to the effect that participants in the discussion don't see why there's such a big deal, as everyone should be using setuptools/easy_install/eggs anyway. Please let's avoid getting into that here. Can we assume for the purposes of this discussion that easy_install and eggs are not relevant, as the target audience for the bdist_ commands is *precisely* those people who don't want to use setuptools?
I'm a huge user of bdist_rpm. I definitely agree that easy_install and eggs are not relevant to this discussion. This is only about distutils and what it includes.
And while I'm for removing the bdist_* commands from distutils, I'm neutral on removing their functionality from the standard library. I think they'll all ultimately require a lot of work as distutils evolves.