2009/7/2 Ben Finney email@example.com:
I think that calling distutils an “install program” is confusing. When I discuss distutils, I don't call it a program at all; it's a library (or perhaps “framework”) that provides part of the job of package installation.
I agree, but I consider the fact that distutils "provides" python setup.py install means that it "is an install program" in some people's minds. These are the same people who complain about the lack of a distutils uninstall feature.
Personally, I want distutils to provide all the individual bits that I get from bdist_wininst, so that I can put together an alternative for specialised situations (notably, non-site installs of some packages). So uninstall and being able to list installed packages are important to me - hence my interest in this PEP.