[Distutils] packaging terminology confusion

Eric Smith eric at trueblade.com
Thu Jan 7 12:48:08 CET 2010

Brad Allen wrote:
> This quote is taken from the distutils thread "current preferred way
> to specify dependencies? future?",
> On Wed, Jan 6, 2010 at 10:55 AM, Tarek Ziadé <ziade.tarek at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Wed, Jan 6, 2010 at 3:35 PM, John Gabriele <jmg3000 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I'm a bit confused myself... PEP-345 says it "describes a mechanism
>>> for adding metadata to Python packages", but I think they really mean
>>> "distributions" (the things available at the PyPI).
>> Yes you are right, that was a mistake.  I've just fixed it.
> Sorry, but I'm baffled. Are we really now using the word
> 'distribution' for those 'things available at the PyPI'?
> The text inside PEP-345 uses the word 'distutils project' a lot as the
> name for this concept.
> It's very common to see the word 'package' used to refer to these
> 'distutils projects'; but in the Python documentation we also use the
> word 'package' to refer to any directory having an __init__.py.  Can
> the word 'package' be used for both concepts? Maybe a qualifier would
> help, like module-package and setup-package.
> Normally the word 'distribution' is reserved for what lands in the
> 'dist' directory, such as a tarball or an egg...right?

We should use the terminology as defined in 

So technically it's a "module distribution" we're talking about.

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