[Distutils] distlib updated - comments sought

Daniel Holth dholth at gmail.com
Fri Oct 5 18:04:07 CEST 2012

On Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 10:23 AM, Paul Moore <p.f.moore at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 5 October 2012 14:47, Daniel Holth <dholth at gmail.com> wrote:

> PPS If my locator interface ever matures enough, I'm happy to release
> it on PyPI. But I don't want to compete with Vinay or a stdlib
> implementation, so I'd rather co-operate on a unified view of how to
> approach the problem.

"The Problem"

Bootstrapping is kinda annoying because Python doesn't include an
installer for pip or buildout or ... and it can be hard to choose
between the many excellent installers that are available on and off of

~1300 of the ~20000 packages on pypi have trouble using setup.py as
their build system / metadata source format.

For the ~1300 broken packages, distutils is awful because it is not
really extensible, though setuptools tried.

People have to install setuptools against their will because there is
only one implementation of the pkg_resources API and 75% of the
packages on pypi require setuptools.

Packaging has been in turmoil for years waiting for something.

In my estimation we're not saving the world here. The goal should be
to fix 1,300 packages without breaking 19,000, to make bootstrapping
easier, and to make setuptools optional but neither required nor

It is wonderful to have distlib. I support it. I'm playing with the
competing distlib2 implementation so that both APIs can be better, so
we can find out which parts provide functionality that does not just
have a different name in pkg_resources, and so that it can be possible
to replace the implementation without changing the API. If your goal
is to avoid "implementation defined behavior" it's a good idea to have

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