[Distutils] distribution name capitalisation considered important ; -)

Chris Withers chris at simplistix.co.uk
Wed Sep 15 15:53:30 CEST 2010

Hi All,

Looks like we have quite a consistent set of rules with regard to 
captilisation of package names on file systems where case isn't 
important, shame the same can't be said for distribution names.

So, looks like case is important in package names.

With distribution names, it becomes much more murky. Setuptools, and so 
all the ilk that use it, is happy to ignore case naming for 
distributions. To make matters worse, it also uses os.path.normcase on 
any distributions obtained from a Windows file system, which will 
*always* corrupt any distribution names that aren't all lower case already.

These differences cause subtle problems in tools which attempt to pin 
versions of particular distributions.

So, I guess I'm asking why we don't just say "distribution names are 
case sensitive" and be done with it? If the case of a requirement or 
distribution name is wrong, it would be good to get early failures 
rather than subtle and annoying bugs later on down the line.

Of course, the horse is already bolted on this. The only "sane" option 
now would be for all distribution names to be lowercased by all tools 
all of the time. How do others feel about this?


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