[Distutils] packaging terminology confusion

Tres Seaver tseaver at palladion.com
Fri Jan 8 07:13:43 CET 2010

Hash: SHA1

Fred Drake wrote:
> 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.

Amen!  Let's go for precision in PEPs, docs, and other spec-like stuff,
and not worry about correcting imprecise-but-easy-to-disambiguate-in-
context usage in ordinary discourse.

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Tres Seaver          +1 540-429-0999          tseaver at palladion.com
Palladion Software   "Excellence by Design"    http://palladion.com
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