[Distutils] User Viewpoint: Packaging History, Confusion and User Advice

Erik Bray erik.m.bray at gmail.com
Fri Apr 26 19:57:27 CEST 2013

Hi, I just wanted to point out a couple small corrections to an
otherwise good summary of the situation.

On Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 10:55 AM, Erik Bernoth <erik.bernoth at gmail.com> wrote:
> distutils (classic) - the old school, deprecated, pretty much unmaintained
> packaging tooling; still the official standard [4] (Note: reasons [13])

distutils isn't deprecated--almost all of the other mentioned projects
rely on distutils on some level, though there seems to be some effort
to undo that reliance and relegate distutils to just a build tool that
can be swapped out for others.  The problem with distutils is not so
much that it's deprecated, as that there are so many other projects
built on top of it, many of them making use of poorly documented
internal interfaces, that it's very very difficult to change or
improve distutils without breaking lots of other projects.

> setuptools - fork of distutils, which wasn't maintained for a long time but
> will now be merged with it's successor [8].

Setuptools is not a fork of distutils. It's one of the aforementioned
products built on top of distutils that are very volatile to changes
in distutils.  Much of the functionality of setuptools is based on
subclasses of some of the class interfaces in distutils.  But it would
not be accurate to describe it as a fork.  (distribute however *is* a
fork of setuptools).


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