[Distutils] Current status of PEP 439 (pip boostrapping)

Paul Moore p.f.moore at gmail.com
Sat Jul 13 11:05:24 CEST 2013

On 13 July 2013 06:31, Nick Coghlan <ncoghlan at gmail.com> wrote:

> * bundling a *full* copy of pip with the Python installers for Windows and
> Mac OS X, but installing it to site-packages rather than to the standard
> library directory. That way pip can be used to upgrade itself as normal,
> rather than making it part of the standard library per se. This is then
> closer to the "bundled application" model adopted for IDLE in PEP 434 (we
> could, in fact, move to distributing idle the same way).

How robust is the process of upgrading pip using itself? Specifically on
Windows, where these things typically seem less reliable.

Personally, I have never upgraded pip using itself, because I only ever
install pip in virtualenvs, which don't have a lifespan as long as a pip
release cycle :-) It would be easy to imagine a new pip release resulting
in a *lot* of bugs raised against Python (rather than pip) saying that the
upgrade fails. And of course if an upgrade fails, we can't just release a
new version of pip that fixes the issue, because it's the *old* version
that is installed and has to do the upgrade. So there's manual fiddling to
do. Not a good experience for Python users.

My current workflow is to have absolutely nothing installed in the system
Python and use virtualenvs for everything. This is a bit extreme, but the
issues I've hit in the past when package management has gone wrong have
made me very cautious.

If the pip upgrade process is rock-solid, this isn't an issue, but I'm not
sure that it is, myself.

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