[Distutils] Name the software! Package quality tester.

Jim Fulton jim at zope.com
Wed Mar 9 13:06:36 CET 2011

On Tue, Mar 8, 2011 at 12:26 PM, P.J. Eby <pje at telecommunity.com> wrote:
> At 05:18 PM 3/7/2011 -0500, Jim Fulton wrote:
>> If what we now call "packages" were called "modules", then we could
>> start using the term "package" the way everyone else does. I think
>> lots of people would be less confused.
> It seems to me that in order to make that change, you have to get more
> people to change their terminology, since the set of people who need to
> refer to package[module] is larger than the set of people who need to refer
> to package[project].  (There is also a larger body of documentation
> associated with package[module].)
> IOW, I think this proposal is a heavy uphill battle, both in the number of
> people to be convinced and the amount of documentation.  In addition, the
> people who are calling a project a package can more easily understand the
> need to call it a project, than the people who are calling a package a
> package, will understand the need to call it a module.  ;-)
>> Otherwise, I prefer we try hard to use the precise definitions
>> above. This topic can be confusing enough without making it more so
>> through sloppy terminology.
> I think that this approach is more achievable: it requires only an official
> blessing, a relatively small amount of documentation to be changed, and the
> renaming of PyPI et al.  (i.e. "Python Projects Index", projects.python.org,
> etc.)

The term "project" has has never stuck, despite being discussed
repeatedly.  I think given the historical use of the term "package" it
was reasonable to find another term.  OK, we tried. It didn't work.
We can pretent that if we work hard enough, we can make people adopt
our confusing terminology.  Good luck with that.

> ("Projects Index" is a better name anyway, since some things on PyPI are not
> packages at all but applications, scripts, modules, plugins, etc.)

They aren't "packages" a according to current Python definition of the
term. They *are* packages according to the common usage within the

They certainly aren't "projects" in any sense that most people would
understand.  They are arguably products of projects. Of course, the
term "product" has negative connotations for some folks.


Jim Fulton

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