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

Carl Meyer carl at dirtcircle.com
Wed Oct 14 15:27:05 CEST 2009

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Hi all,

Here's a summary of my take on the discussion thus far:

- - There's been some discussion of terminology, based on which I'm
proposing the file be called REQUESTED, and the Distribution boolean
attribute be .requested. I've updated the demo implementation at
http://bitbucket.org/carljm/pep376/ accordingly.

- - Several people are in favor of tracking this metadata, and also
interested in logging additional data about which installers dealt with
an installed package, why, and when. The additional logging isn't
inherent to this proposal and can be proposed separately if there's
strong interest (same with the brief mention of a generic metadata API).

- - At least one person is concerned that this level of metadata is
insufficient for good uninstaller performance. AFAICS this concern is
not possible to address directly without significant changes to the
nature and scope of PEP 376 (i.e. a centralized "installed packages"
database with dependency graph data, or a distributed simulation of
one), but there are ways to mitigate the issue in actual (un)installer

- - At least one person does not want orphan detection in their
uninstaller tool. Since it's clear that other people do, and it would be
simple to implement or modify an uninstaller such that it would treat
all installed packages as REQUESTED and never mention orphan packages, I
don't see this as a blocking concern.

At this point I don't see any issues raised that would prevent moving
ahead with the proposal. Is there anything I've missed?


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