[Distutils] [Catalog-sig] packaging terminology confusion

Brad Allen bradallen137 at gmail.com
Sat Jan 9 16:13:36 CET 2010

On Fri, Jan 8, 2010 at 11:44 AM, P.J. Eby <pje at telecommunity.com> wrote:

>> Yes, very much. I like 'parcel' better than 'project', partly because
>> it's not already overload with other contextual meanings.
> This is just another example of the degree of confusion around terminology
> here, because "parcel" isn't a substitute for "project": a "project" is
> something that you would release "parcels" *for*.

These two terms have yet to be formally adopted, so they can mean what
we want them to mean. As you mentioned earlier the word 'project' has
been adopted by setuptool documentation, but this discussion shows the
distutils community is still in a process of deciding the best

The word 'project' has two other meanings which are already in common
use within the general developer community, one being an IDE document
(such as a WingIDE project file), the other being a process/community
as Tres described earlier. Also, M. Lemburg noted that a 'project'
often is meant to refer to a grouping of software components (such as
Zope), but not the individual software component.

'Project' is still a good candidate word and has gotten a lot of
positive votes on this thread, but that was before Glyph suggested
'parcel', which I prefer for the following reasons:

* It does not compete with any existing meanings in the community, and
seems relatively untouched by the software community at large
* The non-software meaning comes close to the non-software meaning of
'package', which most have agreed is a natural fit for setup.py
thingies but has generated confusion because of other meanings.
* Search engine queries for "Python parcel" are likely not to be
buried in something unrelate. Even now, a Google search for "Python
parsel" shows this discussion on the first page (though not at the
* It is adequately non-silly to satisfy whoever (regretfully) renamed
the Cheeseshop to PyPI, yet .nonconformist enough for the "And now for
something completely different" faction.
* Saying 'Python parcel' is fun, refreshing, and soon to be
non-ambiguous if we choose to adopt that term.

Does anyone who vote +1 for 'project' want to change that vote to
'parcel'? I do.

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