[Distutils] why would you ever need to specify setuptools as a dependency?

Chris Withers chris at simplistix.co.uk
Tue Oct 20 12:36:09 CEST 2009

Toshio Kuratomi wrote:
> True... but because of that people are able to specify setuptools in
> setup.py and it will work with either distribute or setuptools.

If you mean in the "install_requires" or "setup_requires" parameters to 
setuptools setup method, then I'm yet to see a use case where this is 

 > you're getting at that if people didn't specify setuptools in setup.py,
 > distribute-0.6 could install without using the setuptools name?

Without faking the setuptools distribution, yes.

 >  I don't
 > think that works since you still need to take over the setuptools module

package != module != distribution.

setuptools and distribute are both distributions that provide a 
setuptools package. However, requirements are specified in terms of 
distributions, which is why people specifying setuptools as a 
requirement causes problems. As I've said several times now, I just 
can't see any point in doing that... will someone please enlighten me as 
to why people feel the need to specify "setuptools" in 
"install_requires" or "setup_requires" when the code that parses those 
requirements can't execute unless a package called setuptools is present 


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