[Distutils] [Catalog-sig] packaging terminology confusion

Ben Finney ben+python at benfinney.id.au
Sun Jan 10 22:02:00 CET 2010

Lennart Regebro <regebro at gmail.com> writes:

> On Sun, Jan 10, 2010 at 12:40, Ben Finney <ben+python at benfinney.id.au> wrote:
> > At this point, people are just going to keep calling this entity a
> > “package”, consistent with the majority of other languages and
> > systems out there.
> I'm not sure that's a problem. When you are talking about installation
> and distribution, the distribution and the package are almost
> identical.

I can't understand this because of the ambiguity of the term “package”.

You might be saying something tautologically true: When the terms
“package” and “distribution” are used to refer to the same thing, their
referents are identical. Well yes, of course.

The other alternative seems to be that you're saying something we know
to be false: it has already been demonstrated that an entity that Python
terminology calls a “distribution” can contain zero, one, or multiple
entities that Python calls “package”.

> > We'd have more chance, I think, of changing Python's concept
> > “namespace that behaves like a module and can have sub-modules” —
> > currently called “package” — to a different word and encouraging
> > adoption of that new term.
> I don't think it's realistic to change the name of one of the
> fundamental concepts of Python.

It's an option to be considered, I think. Especially since the
alternative proposal seems to be to change the name of one of the
fundamental concepts already in established use *outside* Python.

> I sure as heck is not a question for distutils-list. :-)

Probably not.

 \         “I'm not a bad guy! I work hard, and I love my kids. So why |
  `\      should I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I'm going to |
_o__)                                            Hell?” —Homer Simpson |
Ben Finney

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