[Distutils] Python people want CPAN and how the latter came about

Lennart Regebro regebro at gmail.com
Tue Dec 22 08:43:05 CET 2009

On Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 23:48, David Cournapeau <cournape at gmail.com> wrote:
> mind". Reliable packaging requires explicit handling, where the whole
> python stack for packaging relies a lot on implicit behavior.

Can you give examples of this implicit behaviour?

>  - distutils (and most tools on top) throw away metadata, and then
> other tools try to guess them back.

What metadata is thrown away?

> tools try to add another level of complexity to circumvent it. The
> fact that python has something like 5 or 6 tools to deploy things
> where most other languages have only one or two is quite striking.

Can you list these 5 or 6 tools to deploy, because I'm only aware of
two, easy_install and pip. And in the current refactoring of
Distribute, easy_install is going away.

>  - Linked to the above, metadata are not enforced in pypi. This just
> cannot work. Most other systems in existence enforce strict rules.

It is working, right now, so that's a strange claim. Obviously, you
are less likely to use a package with less metadata, but that's the
package authors problem, not your, or?

> For example, when you
> install a package, the previous installation is not removed. Worse,
> there is no way to correctly uninstall things

It's not worse, it's the same. But it's admittedly a big lack of
feature in the current Python situation, yes. But it's also not a
question of "CPAN", is it? CPAN doesn't uninstall things. It's a
package repository. In any case this is a well known problem being
looked at and in the process of being solved.

>  - etc...

Up until this, you wore concrete and could explain exactly what you
didn't like. You are partly incorrect and for some reason very angry,
which is nonconstructive but beside the point. Your claim that it's
not of features and concrete problems but a "state of mind" was
countered by your concrete answers. ;-)

Now if you cool down a bit we probably can find the actual problems. :-)

Lennart Regebro: Python, Zope, Plone, Grok
+33 661 58 14 64

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