[Distutils] pip install --upgrade bug on python3.x

Christian Tismer tismer at stackless.com
Tue Jan 8 23:29:47 CET 2013

Hi Lennart,

On 07.01.13 17:05, Lennart Regebro wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 4:49 PM, Christian Tismer <tismer at stackless.com 
> <mailto:tismer at stackless.com>> wrote:
>     Hi folks,
>     I recognized a glitch with pip when using the --upgrade option.
>     From the traceback:
>           File "./setuptools/dist.py", line 103
>             except ValueError, e:
>                              ^
>         SyntaxError: invalid syntax
>     This seems to happen only if --upgrade is used, regardless whether
>     a module was installed before or not.
>     It is easy to circumvent by first uninstalling and then avoiding
>     the option.
>     Should I file an issue? Where? Or submit a patch?
> It's a known bug: https://github.com/pypa/pip/issues/650

Thank you for the link.

I've read the discussion which started 5 months ago without solving the
Sorry, when I read the comment
"""Seeing as this bug only can appear in Python 3 with packages that have a
module called "setuptools" it's a pretty marginal edge case."""

I was a bit shocked:
We want to push Python3 as much as possible, and people try to use it over
and over, but in the end, some setup Problem kills the effort, and it is
"just python3".
It happens with a lot of modules, some are so prominent like PySide
which I want to support to use with Python3.
But I have to fight Homebrew which installs Python3 (sigh), but not
PySide :-( and so on.

The policy for python-dev seems to be to develop Python 3 in the first place
and eventually backport sth.  to Python 2, but other projects, including
distutils have their priority in the opposite direction.

Sorry about this rant, but as an advocate for Python 3 (after years of 
I have a hard time to convince my customers and team members to make the
switch, because I always fall into some trap that makes it hard to defend
"_the_ better python(tm)".
The python _is_ arguable better, but it is somehow not the most beloved 
and I feel bad persuading people of a thing that always breaks a bit, 

It would be great to have an exaple where the opposite happens:
"""Sorry, this breaks a bit, but it is just a cornercase of Python 2.6 , 
which has anyway no active

So why is it so difficult to just use "except ValueError as e"  ?

Am I missing the point, or would it not just work with python 2.7 and up?

cheers and my apology in advance :-)  chris

Christian Tismer             :^)   <mailto:tismer at stackless.com>
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