[Distutils] Distribute and setuptools: what are the differences

Lennart Regebro regebro at gmail.com
Tue Oct 13 14:14:37 CEST 2009

2009/10/13 Michael Whapples <mwhapples at aim.com>:
> As it seems that setuptools is not "dead" just possibly a bit slow at being
> updated, could I ask what are the aims of the various projects setuptools
> and distribute (please try and keep this information restricted to your
> project and what it aims to do)?

Distribute is created as a response to setuptools not getting the
maintenance it deserves. It provides various bugfixes that has been
known in setuptools for a long time but not solved. It also nowadays
provides Python 3 support.

> I have to say from my view (as a developer of my own packages only using
> setuptools/distribute to help package my packages) that it currently looks a
> horrible mess, distribute tries to replace setuptools and does it in such a
> way that any package which specifically wants setuptools has to use
> distribute if another package wants it

Distribute is a fork and a complete replacement of setuptools. Hence
you can only have one installed in each environment at once. Yes it's
a mess.

There really is not many reasons for any package to require distribute
over setuptools. It's not a package choice, it's a user-choice.

> create my own custom code to give the features I currently really use from
> setuptools/distribute until this "mess" has been cleaned up.

> I know this
> idea of going a custom route doesn't really help things

If it helps you, it helps.

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

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