[Distutils] PEP439 and backward compat / easy_install / distlib

Marcus Smith qwcode at gmail.com
Mon Mar 25 07:20:13 CET 2013

> I had thrown around the idea of the pip bootstrap installing both pip
> implementation *and* setuptools. At the time my justification was that
> pip depended on it. The pip devs have indicated that they could remove
> the setuptools dependency when distlib and wheel support are in the
> Python standard library.

pip's wheel install support is native to pip right now, but it does use
(pip's wheel build support is done via the external wheel package as a
setuptools extension)

if pip "vendorized" pkg_resources, then it could install a Setuptools wheel.
(pip will ultimately refactor its pkg_resources use over to distlib, but
that seems less likely in the short term)

I have a hard time imagining implementing the "MEBs" idea (i.e. removing
the "setuptools dependency") by python 3.4, if that's what people are
(possibly only in the simplest way, where pip just automatically installs
Setuptools from wheel if it's not installed when it encounters an sdist,
because it knows it's the only build option right now)

but that really reinforces that we need to get these plans posted up to the
packaging developer hub so can really grok all this and talk phases and

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