[Distutils] RFC: Binary Distribution Format for distutils2/packaging

PJ Eby pje at telecommunity.com
Wed Mar 14 17:33:31 CET 2012

On Wed, Mar 14, 2012 at 8:21 AM, Paul Moore <p.f.moore at gmail.com> wrote:

> One thing I dislike about eggs is that the filename includes a Python
> version for all eggs, even when the package is pure python. I know
> eggs contain .pyc files (which are version specific) but IMO they
> shouldn't.

Your objection would make sense if .egg files were simply a format for
transmitting files to be installed someplace -- in which case they could've
omitted the .pyc files.

.egg files were originally designed as a plugin distribution format, which
means they're supposed to be drop-in usable to an app's plugin directory.

Which brings up a few questions, actually.  Will these .pbd files be
drop-in usable in the same way?  If not, then they're not really replacing
eggs.  The same is true if they don't offer plugin discovery metadata like
entry points or EggTranslations.

> Having a python version in the filename where it's not
> necessary increases the maintenance burden on packagers, who have to
> generate the extra files,

This is a bit of a misconception, perhaps originating in the fact that
setuptools itself was always distributed as a collection of
version-specific eggs.  This was done solely to ease the bootstrapping of
setuptools itself (to avoid recursively invoking the distutils while trying
to build another package), and isn't really necessary for easy_install or
other tools.  You only need to generate eggs if you are supporting a binary
application of some kind.

Again, this raises the question: is .pbd a load-and-go format for
distributing and *running* Python code, or is it just a way to bundle
compiled extensions along with source code to simplify installation?  I
worry that some folks in the conversation may be thinking one thing, and
some folks the other.
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