[Distutils] [Python-Dev] PEP 376 - from PyPM's point of view

P.J. Eby pje at telecommunity.com
Wed Jul 15 18:21:32 CEST 2009

At 11:10 AM 7/15/2009 +0100, Paul Moore wrote:
>I propose that before the current prototype is turned into a final
>(spec and) implementation, the PEP 302 extensions are extracted and
>documented as an independent protocol, purely part of PEP 376. (This
>*helps* implementers, as they can write support for, for example,
>eggs, without needing to modify the existing egg importer).

Btw, this is why setuptools chose to implement these things as 
adapters or generic functions in pkg_resources (and in the vestigial 
bits that were added to python 2.5's pkgutil).

So as you can see, trying to solve these particular problems tends to 
lead to reinventing setuptools or at least portions thereof.  ;-)

>But the
>problem is that too many people dislike setuptools as it stands for it
>to gain support. My understanding is that the current set of PEPs were
>intended to be a stripped down, more generally acceptable subset of
>setuptools. Let's keep them that way (and omit the complexities of
>multi-version support).

Even without multi-version support, the parts of PEP 376 that aren't 
about uninstallation are still reinventing chunks of 
pkg_resources.  Had pkg_resources been in the stdlib a couple years 
back (note that bugs and changes in it are still quite rare), the PEP 
376 bits for pkgutil could have been focused strictly on 
uninstallation, and just reused pkg_resources API for finding 
distributions, reading metadata, getting version info, etc. etc.

All that stuff is extremely stable code, very widely used for a very 
long time.  If politics is the only thing keeping it from being used, 
then that's a pretty sad statement about the community, given that 
pkg_resources is not to blame for 99% of what people complain about 
in relation to setuptools.  All pkg_resources does is find stuff (on 
request) and maybe add it to sys.path (on request), pull out data and 
metadata from distributions (on request), or set up namespace 
packages (on request).

So if politics demands that it be rejected by association with 
"setuptools", then just search-and-replace the API, PEP 8-ify it, 
call it something different, and lie to everyone about where it came 
from.  I won't tell if you won't.  ;-)

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