[Distutils] Library instability on PyPI and impact on OpenStack

Donald Stufft donald.stufft at gmail.com
Tue Mar 5 13:55:16 CET 2013

On Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 7:50 AM, Mark McLoughlin wrote:
> > I still don't really see how this is related to PEP426 unless PEP426
> > has gotten
> > a lot larger since I last looked at it. Where in particular a
> > distribution gets
> > installed is left up to the installers to sort out. And making sure
> > that the installed
> > versions exist in sys.path is similarly out of scope for PEP426.
> > 
> Sorry, maybe I'm being obtuse.
> I can see people read PEP426 and thinking "oh, awesome! Python now has a
> mechanism for handling incompatible API changes! Now I can get rid of
> that crufty backwards compat code and bump my major number!".
> My point is that it's (potentially) damaging to send that message to
> library maintainers before Python has the infrastructure for sanely
> dealing with parallel installs.

Gotcha, you think that codifying how to version with regards to breaking
API compatibility will lead to more people breaking backwards compatibility.

That's a fair concern, and there's not much that can be done inside of PEP426
to alleviate it. However I will say that PEP426 doesn't really contain much
in the way of new ideas, but rather codifies a lot of existing practices within the
Python community so that tools can get simpler and more accurate without
having to resort to heuristics and guessing.

You could also argue that this would _help_ with backwards compatibility because
there is now a suggested way of declaring when 2 releases are no longer compatible
by incrementing the major version number.
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