[Distutils] pip vs easy_install vs distutils2

Barry Warsaw barry at python.org
Thu Jun 3 15:38:53 CEST 2010

On May 29, 2010, at 10:19 AM, Tarek Ziadé wrote:

>I think separating the concerns and letting the end user pick/use
>explicitly *one* installer globally is better because several
>installers won't compete on the target system (even if we supposely
>want them all to be compatible in the future). Of course, this is only
>true for source distributions.
>It will also allow distributions to be "dumb" envelopes with static
>metadata that are the same all the time, no matter which tool created
>them, and eventually remove setup.py in favor of statically described
>metadata using PEP 345.
>Today, for instance, if an installer wants to install a distribution
>based on setuptools, it has to run the "egg_info" command to extract
>the metadata, on the target system.  Being able to get those metadata
>without running any code would be better. For instance, installers
>could list all dependencies for a project by querying PyPI with zero
>download/execution. (thanks to PEP 345 environment markers)
>What would make more sense I think, would be to have all installers an
>identical archive for a given project, that doesn't need more code to
>be run to get all the metadata.
>So at the end, the end user would chose an installer that is
>compatible with these archive, and know how to install them. In other
>words, have ez_setup for example, run once for all at the Python
>level, and be THE installer. Or run a pip_setup or whatever.

How would OS vendors get into the game?  I could imagine that Ubuntu would
want to make an opinionated choice for our users, and maybe even set things up
so that packages are installed from our archives (as .deb packages) by
default.  This would make things very easy for the majority of users, though
of course we'd have to allow experts to customize it to grab from the
Cheeseshop or use a different installer.

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