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

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Sat Jul 13 14:25:30 CEST 2013

On 13 Jul 2013 19:05, "Paul Moore" <p.f.moore at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.

I think we need to flip the dependencies so that pip as the installer has
all the essential code for installation from PyPI and then setuptools and
distlib depend on that pip infrastructure. No need to add anything to the
standard library prematurely when we can add it to pip instead.


> Paul
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