[Distutils] [Catalog-sig] packaging terminology confusion

Ben Finney ben+python at benfinney.id.au
Mon Jan 11 09:09:36 CET 2010

Lennart Regebro <regebro at gmail.com> writes:

> If you say "I need to install this package" it may technically be
> unclear if you mean the package "foo.bar" or the distribution
> "foo.bar-3.6.tgz", but that difference is not in that case
> significant. Installing the distribution and installing the package is
> in that case the same thing.

That case is far from the only one to consider, though. As already
pointed out, there are existing examples of ‘foo-3.6.tar.gz’ that
contain zero collection-of-module packages, and there are other such
examples that contain multiple collection-of-module packages.

So it's not the same thing (and I'm not saying you didn't know that).
It's needlessly confusing to expect people discussing these entities to
distinguish the name depending on how the modules are collected together

Such a thing will *still* be called “a package” by programmers familiar
with the wider programming world, regardless what name Python has chosen
for them. I think it behooves us to choose terminology that acknowledges
that, even if it means asking the Python community to change its
terminology to be a little less parochial.

 \         “Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. The first |
  `\     principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the |
_o__)               easiest person to fool.” —Richard P. Feynman, 1964 |
Ben Finney

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