[Distutils] More documentation for setup meta-data

M.-A. Lemburg mal@lemburg.com
Fri Feb 28 11:23:01 2003

Richard Jones wrote:
> On Thu, 27 Feb 2003 7:25 pm, M.-A. Lemburg wrote:
>>Richard Jones wrote:
>>>I'm trying to better document the meta-data for the distutils (and hence
>>>PyPI). I've added words to the section in the dev doc about meta-data,
>>>and would like some feedback before I post the patch to be applied.
>>>Sorry, it's in LaTeX form (until someone writes the ReST->python doc
>>>converter ;)
>>>  \lineiii{download_url}{a location where the package may be
>>>  \lineiii{classifiers}{a list of Trove classifiers}{list of
>>>strings}{(3)} \end{tableiii}
>>download_url is not a valid Distribution option (even though it
>>is listed in the DistributionMetaData). I wonder why you mention
>>it here.
> It is new in 2.3

Uhm, it doesn't work in Python 2.3... that's why I was asking.

>>The concept of a single URL for downloads seems to simplistic to
>>handle the issues involved with automatic installation. This
>>information should also be provided in a lazy way, so that the
>>package author can easily update the download links, e.g. by
>>placing the information in an XML file on his site and then
>>referencing this file in the distutils meta data.
>>The file should then be parsed by a distutils subcommand to
>>find the right download URL depending on the platform and
>>Python version.
> This system sounds quite useful and flexible. It could also get very 
> complicated, very quickly (for a package maintainer). The download_url may 
> still be used for this purpose if it specifies a metadata file as the 
> download.
> On the other hand, Anthony Baxter has written a distutils command that will 
> download a specified package and install it. This was recently posted to 
> distutils-sig "first cut at a distutils 'fetch' command". Sure, it's not an 
> optimal solution - in the same way that PyPI is going to need tweaking over 
> time once it's actually used. It's a start though.
> Note that I would like to see an alternative system that is used to 
> disseminate packages which uses a set of mirrors similar to CPAN. There's an 
> accepted naming system so that the package may be found just using the 
> package name and version, and a fatch command that attempts to download the 
> package from one or more of the mirrors (depending on availability). PyPI 
> then supplies a list of the mirror sites. Distutils may also offer an upload 
> command, to make life even easier for the package maintainer. No need to 
> maintain download urls or even download sites. The kicker with this plan is 
> the provision of the bandwidth. The other elements of it are ... well, 
> trivial. They could be implemented before 2.3 is released.

If you intend to use the download_url for this purpose, then
you ought to reserve it's usage for this now. Otherwise,
people will simply put a link to the download web-site
into this field.

Marc-Andre Lemburg

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