[Distutils] packaging terminology confusion

David Lyon david.lyon at preisshare.net
Mon Jan 11 01:20:54 CET 2010

> On Sun, Jan 10, 2010 at 12:37 AM, Suno Ano <suno.ano at sunoano.org> wrote:
>>  John> I would also add the common use of the term "distribution" to
>>  John> that glossary as well.
>> Yes, true that, at http://python.org/download/ we have *distributions*
>> to download.
>> I figure the definition for *Installer* should then include that term
>> too. To summarize, we now have the terms
>>  - package
>>  - parcel
>>  - project
>>  - release
>>  - installer
>>  - distribution
>> Do others agree? Is something missing? Something wrong with that point
>> of view?
> I am not sure to understand what is the difference between "parcel"
> and "distribution" in your list, because
> the definition John gave doesn't really differ ("that big software
> archive that you download, unpack, and install-")

Hi Tarek,

I think what's being said here is that in the software
world the word "distribution", is already taken.

For example, a "python distribution" refers to the language
interpreter. A version of the python interpreter made to
run on a particular platform.

It is well accepted terminology already.

Perphaps, with Distribute, you're trying to have us rename
what we know as a package to be now known as distribution.
As a way to build a sort of loyalty to the 'Distribute'

There are ways to accomplish that.. but not this way.

The problem is that using 'distribution' to describe
'package' generates confusion because 'distribution'
already has a an accepted meaning across existing
programming languages.

I think that is pretty much the point that's being
made. That 'distribution' is currently associated with
a language distribution.

As far as users were concerned, .EGGs are the best.

Since you have forked setuptools, it would make more
sense to work on the .egg format to bring this up
to a more modern standing.

To me, this would be a much more constructive way
to help clean up the packaging world than to introduce
more changes to the terminology. I'd even be happy
to help there. I think .EGG is great for packaging
(so simple a concept) but is undermined by some
technical (legacy) issues.


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