[Distutils] distribution name capitalisation considered important ; -)

Jim Fulton jim at zope.com
Fri Sep 17 17:31:54 CEST 2010

On Wed, Sep 15, 2010 at 9:53 AM, Chris Withers <chris at simplistix.co.uk> wrote:
> 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.

I've pretty much decided to view these problems in buildout as bugs.

> 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.

Yup. Sadly.

> 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?

Regardless of how this is accomplished internally, I agree that software
(like buildout) that deals with project specifications needs to assume that
project names are case insensitive.


Jim Fulton

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