[Distutils] [Catalog-sig] packaging terminology confusion

Ben Finney ben+python at benfinney.id.au
Wed Jan 13 05:39:39 CET 2010

Zooko Wilcox-O'Hearn <zooko at zooko.com> writes:

> On Saturday, 2010-01-09, at 11:47 , Brad Allen wrote:
> > Maybe it's just wrong to call the __init__.py directories packages',
> > because they are really just a piece of what is getting packaged.
> Bingo! A "package" is something that you deliver to someone else and
> they use it. You don't deliver __init__.py directories to people.
> __init__.py directories are not packages.


I think the above idea, of renaming Python's term for “collection of
modules with a namespace”, is the most likely route to clearing up
confusion over the term “package”. It is also the only option so far
presented that IMO has any hope of actually succeeding, since it's
addressing a Python-specific term.

Expecting the rest of the software community to treat the term “package”
specially in the context of Python is futile. The term is established,
and Python's meaning conflicts with the established meaning.

We need distinct terms for both of these concepts, since they're both
involved in communications about distributing software. Until that
change happens, we can expect the confusion to continue indefinitely. I
hope no-one wants that.

 \         “If you can do no good, at least do no harm.” —_Slapstick_, |
  `\                                                     Kurt Vonnegut |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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