[Distutils] Fwd: Adding a "Pure Python" flag to PyPI

Michael Foord fuzzyman at gmail.com
Mon Mar 5 20:21:39 CET 2012

On 5 March 2012 18:43, Paul Moore <p.f.moore at gmail.com> wrote:

> [Resending because I don't think the first try made it to the list...]
> I'm trying to identify which distributions in PyPI need to be made
> available in binary format for people without C compilers (i.e.,
> distributions including C extensions). I could use the classifier
> information, but as that is user-supplied, it is not 100% reliable[1].
> (Also, it's not in the data set I have available, although that's a
> fixable issue). I'm only interested in existing binary distributions
> (eggs and wininst/msi packages) on PyPI.
> The problem is that simply assuming that because a distribution
> provides binary installers, or even version-specific installers, is
> not enough. For example, look at PyParsing - it provides a
> version-specific wininst installer for every Python version, but it's
> a pure Python package, and can easily be installed from source.
> I can't see a way of reliably establishing whether a distribution is
> "pure Python", and yet distutils/packaging clearly has that
> information available when building. Would it be worthwhile adding a
> "pure Python" flag to the PyPI classifiers, which could be
> automatically populated by packaging? We'd still be reliant on people
> who manually maintain metadata getting it correct, but it would help
> in many cases (and in particular, in those cases where projects do
> regularly upload binary distributions).


It's useful information for users - if only source distributions are
available for packages that require compilation some users can't use them
(typically Windows users), so a pure-python flag would be helpful.


> Alternatively, if there is a way of reliably identifying those
> packages that can't be installed from source by someone without a
> compiler, I'd be interested to know.
> Thanks,
> Paul.
> _______________________________________________
> Distutils-SIG maillist  -  Distutils-SIG at python.org
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