[Distutils] pip vs easy_install vs distutils2

Ian Bicking ianb at colorstudy.com
Mon May 31 16:55:20 CEST 2010

On Sun, May 30, 2010 at 12:13 PM, Carl Meyer <carl at oddbird.net> wrote:

> I sympathize with the ease-of-use reasons for having something in the
> stdlib. And I'm not sure putting pip in the stdlib would be good for
> pip's development.

This is my primary concern.  I have no problem with merging pip with
distutils2, so that pip can share utility code, etc.  While it would still
have to be backward compatible with old packages, I don't think that would
have to change just because it merged with distutils2.

But... the standard library is where I get stuck.  And release cycles.  pip
has its own release cycle right now.  It's not particularly formal, but it's
a fairly regular release schedule.  In terms of scope I don't think pip is
finished.  For instance, at least pip should have querying abilities
(similar to what yolk does).  Also the standard library's backward
compatibility guarantee's don't seem as relevant to an installer -- an
installer is something you run at a certain point in time, it's not part of
the runtime of a system itself, and so changes are not as much of a
problem.  At the same time it has to be compatible with packages written a
long time ago... but it's a different sort of compatibility.

Well, I could list the problems, but basically I strongly dislike the idea
that, say, Python 3.2 will ship distutils2 with a certain version of pip,
and that people would have to upgrade Python or wait for a Python release to
get upgrades of pip.  Or, if that's not the case, then we need to figure
what it means to have distutils2 "in" the standard library while still
making regular releases.  If Python shipped a "install distutils2" script
then that I could work with, because it would imply distutils2 was blessed
(and whatever the version at the time of release was, it could possibly be
installed) but without attaching release cycles.

Ian Bicking  |  http://blog.ianbicking.org
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