[Distutils] Setuptools-Distribute merge announcement

Erik Bray erik.m.bray at gmail.com
Wed Mar 20 17:42:55 CET 2013

On Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 8:54 PM, PJ Eby <pje at telecommunity.com> wrote:
> Jason Coombs (head of the Distribute project) and I are working on
> merging the bulk of the improvements distribute made into the
> setuptools code base.  He has volunteered to take over maintenance of
> setuptools, and I welcome his assistance.  I appreciate the
> contributions made by the distribute maintainers over the years, and
> am glad to have Jason's help in getting those contributions into
> setuptools as well.  Continuing to keep the code bases separate isn't
> helping anybody, and as setuptools moves once again into active
> development to deal with the upcoming shifts in the Python-wide
> packaging infrastructure (the new PEPs, formats, SSL, TUF, etc.), it
> makes sense to combine efforts.
> Aside from the problems experienced by people with one package that
> are fixed in the other, the biggest difficulties with the fork right
> now are faced by the maintainers of setuptools-driven projects like
> pip, virtualenv, and buildout, who have to either take sides in a
> conflict, or spend additional time and effort testing and integrating
> with both setuptools and distribute.  We'd like to end that pain and
> simplify matters for end users by bringing distribute enhancements to
> setuptools and phasing out the distribute fork as soon as is
> practical.
> In the short term, our goal is to consolidate the projects to prevent
> duplication, wasted effort, and incompatibility, so that we can start
> moving forward. This merge will allow us to combine resources and
> teams, so that we may focus on a stable but actively-maintained
> toolset.  In the longer term, the goal is for setuptools as a concept
> to become obsolete.  For the first time, the Python packaging world
> has gotten to a point where there are PEPs *and implementations* for
> key parts of the packaging infrastructure that offer the potential to
> get rid of setuptools entirely.  (Vinay Sajip's work on distlib,
> Daniel Holth's work on the "wheel" format, and Nick Coghlan's taking
> up the reins of the packaging PEPs and providing a clear vision for a
> new way of doing things -- these are just a few of the developments in
> recent play.)
> "Obsolete", however, doesn't mean unmaintained or undeveloped.  In
> fact, for the "new way of doing things" to succeed, setuptools will
> need a lot of new features -- some small, some large -- to provide a
> migration path.
> At the moment, the merge is not yet complete.  We are working on a
> common repository where the two projects' history has been spliced
> together, and are cleaning up the branch heads to facilitate
> re-merging them.  We'd hoped to have this done by PyCon, but there
> have been a host of personal, health, and community issues consuming
> much of our available work time.  But we decided to go ahead and make
> an announcement *now*, because with the big shifts taking place in the
> packaging world, there are people who need to know about the upcoming
> merge in order to make the best decisions about their own projects
> (e.g. pip, buildout, etc.) and to better support their own users.
> Thank you once again to all the distribute contributors, for the many
> fine improvements you've made to the setuptools package over the
> years, and I hope that you'll continue to make them in the future.
> (Especially as I begin to phase myself out of an active role in the
> project!)
> I now want to turn the floor over to Jason, who's put together a
> Roadmap/FAQ for what's going to be happening with the project going
> forward.  We'll then both be here in the thread to address any
> questions or concerns you might have.

Quick question regarding open issues on Distribute (of which I have a
handful assigned to me, and of which I intend to tackle a few others):
 Would it it make sense to just hold off on those until the merge is
completed?  Also is there anything I can do to help with the merge?
How is that coming along?


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