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

Paul Moore p.f.moore at gmail.com
Sat Jul 13 17:00:27 CEST 2013

On 13 July 2013 13:25, Nick Coghlan <ncoghlan at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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.

If we do this, I think people will start to expect to be able to code
scripts to the pip API. (We've had people ask this on the pip tracker
already). If we don't want pip to end up like distutils (with people
depending on all sorts of random bits of the internals, because there's no
documented API) as a backward-compatibility nightmare, we need to consider
how to handle this.

Of course, saying explicitly "only the python -m pip command line interface
is stable and supported" may well be enough. But didn't we just say that
setuptools and distlib depend on the pip API? So either they have special
privileges (presumably because they are under the umbrella of the PyPA) or
we can't avoid documenting/supporting some API...

I don't believe that pip is currently in a state to offer a solid
documented internal API.

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