[Distutils] Proposing PEP 386 - a standard version scheme

Tarek Ziadé ziade.tarek at gmail.com
Mon Dec 7 22:53:11 CET 2009

(This is the email I will send to python-dev, so everyone can review
it before it is sent)

On behalf of the Distutils-SIG, I would like to propose PEP 386 for
inclusion in the sdtlib, and have a final discussion here on


This PEP has been discussed for some time in Distutils-SIG, and we
agreed there that it's important to have it accepted for the future of
packaging because:

1/ it will offer interoperability for all Python package managers out
there. (namely: Distutils, Distribute, Setuptools, Pip, PyPM)
2/ it will provide a reference for OS packagers, so they can translate
automatically Python distributions versions in their own schemes.

Choosing a schema was quite controversial because every development
team have their own version scheme. But notice that it is not in the
scope of this PEP to come up with an universal versioning schema,
intended to support many or all existing versioning schemas. There
will always be competing grammars, either mandated by distro or
project policies or by historical reasons and we cannot expect that to

The goal of this PEP is rather to provide a standard reference schema
that is able to express the usual versioning semantics, so it's
possible to parse any alternative versioning schema and transform it
into a compliant one. This is how OS packagers usually deal with the
existing version schemas and is a preferable alternative than
supporting an arbitrary set of versioning schemas.

As I expected, we didn't find a full consensus on the final PEP 386
schema on Distutils-SIG. But the one presented is
good enough for what we need to express, as far as I am concerned (and
some other people).

This status understandable, and can go on for months in distutils-SIG.

So I am proposing to see this PEP discussed for one more round here,
then rejected or approved by the highest
authority  :) so we can move on to the final changes we are planning
on PEP 345 and PEP 376 (those are the next PEP we want to propose


More information about the Distutils-SIG mailing list