[Distutils] [Catalog-sig] packaging terminology confusion

Fred Drake fdrake at gmail.com
Fri Jan 8 05:47:05 CET 2010

On Thu, Jan 7, 2010 at 10:43 PM, John Gabriele <jmg3000 at gmail.com> wrote:
> 3. People don't like calling those MyProject-1.0.2.tgz thingies
> "distributions". They keep calling them packages, and when you correct
> them, they say, "[sigh], fine. [eyes roll] 'distribution'."

Interesting.  I've never observed any evidence of that.  Yes, some
people call them packages.  Others call them distributions.  Even
outside the Python realm.

Of course, if you'd rather call them tarballs, I won't mind.  Even if
you don't use tar to make them.  :-)  Or they could be GBOFs (Great
Balls of Fire).

As for the "get a package from the PyPI" verbage, I don't think that's
an issue.  I suspect most distributions include packages rather than a
handful of separate modules these days.  Nor is it wrong to use a
looser term (still widely accepted in the broader community) for the
things gotten from PyPI.

The point of carefully defined terminology is primarily to make sure
that relatively formal communication, such as technical documentation,
can be carried out both effectively and efficiently.  There's no need
to dictate terminology for casual communication, where context is
usually sufficient.


Fred L. Drake, Jr.    <fdrake at gmail.com>
"Chaos is the score upon which reality is written." --Henry Miller

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