[Distutils] tracking requested vs dependency installs in PEP 376 metadata

Carl Meyer carl at dirtcircle.com
Fri Oct 9 15:21:29 CEST 2009

Hash: SHA1

Chris Withers wrote:
> Ian Bicking wrote:
>> I can imagine adding a little information, basically a log of when and
>> why and who installed the package.  For instance:
>>   agent: pip 0.5
>>   install-date: 2009-10-08T13:44:00UTC
>>   installed-for-user: False
>>   installed-for-package: OtherPackage==0.3 
> I think this is a great idea. Recording more information rather than
> less and making sure it's kept up to date is a good idea here.
> Otherwise, when tools come along later down the line that want to make
> use of this information, they'll have to hack something themselves, and
> that's what got setuptools into the mess it currently is in the first
> place!

The downside here is that it introduces one more wrinkle for installers
to worry about handling correctly. There are strong use cases for the
single bit "requested vs auto-installed"; nobody's yet presented use
cases for the additional log info. The only thing that comes to my mind
is UI niceties: being able to tell the user when, why, and by what agent
a package was installed. I'm not aware of existing package managers that
go that far; doesn't mean it's a bad idea.

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