[Distutils] sdist default archive format

David Lyon david.lyon at preisshare.net
Thu Jun 18 04:29:40 CEST 2009

On Thu, 18 Jun 2009 11:57:57 +1000, Ben Finney <ben+python at benfinney.id.au>
> The reverse is true on Unix. The tar-and-gzip format is extensively used
> so it is pretty much guaranteed to be readable on any Unix system; the
> Zip format does not have anywhere near the same level of guarantee.
> I would think the best solution is to use the tar format (since, as
> pointed out elsewhere, it has better support for symlinks and permission
> flags that are often important when distributing works), and ensure that
> distutils will include a tool for unpacking them with pure Python on
> those platforms without external support for the format.

Symlinks shouldn't be used.. within python packages... they are
totally unneccessary....

As soon as the package gets to a windows system with symlinks it
will break and we are back to where we started - a divided community.

If you can give one example within a cross-platform package where 
a symlink would be required (outside of what can be created by distutils
the metadata) I would be interested... but I don't believe there are any...

I already thought we had eggs....

With zip, the unzipper code is within python (I believe). So anything
where the code for the format is already buried within python is going
to be the best for python developers.

If tar code is built in within python... then it should be a flick of
the coin for people to decide....

There's nothing bad about tar... as long as symlinks stay well out of


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