[Distutils] [Catalog-sig] packaging terminology confusion

John Gabriele jmg3000 at gmail.com
Fri Jan 8 16:40:41 CET 2010

On Fri, Jan 8, 2010 at 1:50 AM, Glyph Lefkowitz <glyph at twistedmatrix.com> wrote:
> On Jan 7, 2010, at 10:43 PM, John Gabriele 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'."
> This is not my experience of the term.  It's more that most people *still*
> don't know what the term "distribution" means in this context, unless
> they've extensively read the distutils documentation.  Or that they're
> talking about Python "distributions" at the same time as what Linux
> distributions are doing with them, and are trying to avoid being ambiguous.

Hm. Well, it's possible I'm reading too much into online commentary
while wearing my cheese-colored glasses.

> It sure would be nice if we could use a made-up word like "eggs" to refer to
> these things.  Too bad that's taken too :-\.

If there's a desire to replace the word "distribution" (meaning, the
tgz's at the PyPI) in the technical docs to increase clarity, then
your suggestion of "parcel" is certainly good. Another might be
"bundle" (though, that one's used on Mac OS X in connection with
shared libs, I think).

I like saying "Python distribution" to mean the big archive file you
download to install Python on your system.

Of course, the PyPI could be renamed "Python Project Index" regardless
of the technical name used for Fred's GBOFs. :)

I also think that the instructions on the front page of the PyPI could
say "usage: `pip install ProjectName` or `python setup.py install
ProjectName`" and it would be clear, again, regardless of what the
technical name of GBOFs are.

Re. Barry's recent comment:
> I wish there was a humorous, ironic name for the service that is evocative of
> {snip}

Could always come up with such a name, and still use "The Python
Project Index" as the main *subtitle*.


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