[Distutils] "packaging-user" mailing list?

Marcus Smith qwcode at gmail.com
Sat Mar 30 21:32:39 CET 2013

>> We want less lists, not more.

the basic math would be adding "packaging-user" and dropping "virtualenv",
so no more lists on the whole.
if you're not a virtualenv subscriber, then yes, it's one more list, but
honestly, this isn't about the active *-sig people, but the users.
see below.

>> it's actually mostly a support forum that has periodic surges of
development discussion

the charter sounds like a dev list, and I think the surge is here to stay
until the packaging house in order.

I think distutils-sig only kinda works now as both, because most of the
user traffic doesn't end up here, but rather goes to virtualenv, SO,
Python-list, etc...
But the problem with those lists, is the lack of certainty about answers
across the whole space.

If we:
  - properly described distutils-sig list in it's charter as a user list too
  - *and* announced it as such, on "Python-announce"
  - *and* made it prominent in the new "Python Packaging User Guide" (which
is in the works; another thread for that later)
  I think the reality of having distutils-sig serve both would sink in as
not ideal.  possibly not?
  The dev/user list distinction is pretty common, so my instinct is to
follow that rut here too.

my motivation is to have a better "joe user" story.

**** currently (slightly exaggerated for fun) ****

- joe encounters confusing pip error (due to pip being built on shaky
packaging ground)
- joe: "well, there's the pip user list called 'virtualenv'.".
- co-worker: "that error could actually be due to Setuptools, that pip uses
I think; pip's support for Setuptools is best effort I hear."
- joe: "hmm, Setuptools hasn't been released for awhile.  it's website says
to use 'distutils-sig', but that sounds like a dev list.  maybe that info
is outdated."
- co-worker: "oh, you're on python3, so I think you're using Distribute.
 there's some way to tell, but I'm not sure"
- joe: "Distribute lists distutils-sig for 'Feedback and getting involved',
- joe" "the distutils-sig archive sure looks like an active dev list.  I
might be interfering with silly user questions."
- co-worker:  "maybe try the 'Fellowship of the Packaging' list; that
sounds friendly. but wait, it looks dead."
- joe: "let me just post to Stack overflow"
- co-worker:  "hey, check it out, somebody just responded to your post"
- joe: "I guess I'll wait a few days, and see if the answer gets votes, so
I can tell if it's right or not"

**** what I want ****

- joe encounters error...
- joe: "I'll just post to 'packaging-user'. everybody uses that now and
gets answers they can usually trust."
- joe: "If I want to follow dev discussions, I can join 'distutils-sig',
but that's more pain than I want to see"

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