[Distutils] Setuptools documentation

Florian Mayer flormayer at aim.com
Wed Jul 9 18:33:18 CEST 2008

I have read the setuptools documentation and have tried out the
parse_version comparison, and it turns out that the documentation says
is just wrong. I am using version 0.6c8 of setuptools.

The documentation says, quoting:
"Don't use - or any other character than . as a separator, unless you
really want a post-release. Remember that 2.1-rc2 means you've already
released 2.1, whereas 2.1rc2 and 2.1.c2 are candidates you're putting
out before 2.1".
It also shows a little example for that:
>>> parse_version('2.1-rc2') < parse_version('2.1')

While this sounds pretty weird(how can a rc be after the release?) but
also logical if you just consider any character but "." to be
post-release, which you can do, but do not have to.
Still if they say this is the rule it is okay, although I would not
quite agree with that, as many people use underscores or dashes as a

So what the real problem is, is that the documentation says things that
are untrue with at least the latest version. As said before I have
setuptools 0.6c8 and the behaviour is not like the documentation says in
any way. Here is a little example:
>>> parse_version("2.1-rc2") < parse_version("2.1")

Notice the difference? It's exactly the *opposite* of what the
documentation says. I really ask you to correct this issue as it might
confuse new users.

The documentation I mean can be found at
http://peak.telecommunity.com/DevCenter/setuptools, if it is not done by
you or you cannot edit it, I apologise and will send another email to
its maintainer, but as I could not find out who maintains this site, I
just assumed that you, as the maintainer of setuptools are maintaining
the documentation.

Thanks in advance for your time reading this and correcting the

Best regards,
Florian Mayer

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