[Distutils] Make PEP 426 less boring

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Tue Apr 14 17:21:35 CEST 2015

On 13 April 2015 at 02:24, Thomas Güttler <guettliml at thomas-guettler.de> wrote:
> Hi,
> somehow I feel bored if I read PEP 426.
> https://www.python.org/dev/peps/pep-0426/

If anyone didn't find the complexities of real world software
distribution tedious, frustrating and often mindnumbingly dull, I'd
assume they weren't paying attention :)

> One concrete improvement would be to remove this paragraph:
> {{{
> The design draws on the Python community's 15 years of experience with
> distutils based software distribution, and incorporates ideas and concepts
> from other distribution systems, including Python's setuptools, pip and
> other projects, Ruby's gems, Perl's CPAN, Node.js's npm, PHP's composer and
> Linux packaging systems such as RPM and APT.
> }}}
> Because something like this was already saied some lines before
> {{{
>  Metadata 2.0 represents a major upgrade to the Python packaging ecosystem,
> and attempts to incorporate experience gained over the 15 years(!) since
> distutils was first added to the standard library. Some of that is just
> incorporating existing practices from setuptools/pip/etc, some of it is
> copying from other distribution systems (like Linux distros or other
> development language communities) and some of it is attempting to solve
> problems which haven't yet been well solved by anyone (like supporting clean
> conversion of Python source packages to distro policy compliant source
> packages for at least Debian and Fedora, and perhaps other platform specific
> distribution systems).
> }}}
> **And** I would move the historic background (the second of the above
> quotes) at the end.
> Meta: are you interested in feedback like this?

Not so much - I haven't done a serious editing pass myself, as I'm
still mostly interested in engaging folks that are already invested in
the packaging tools ecosystem, rather than making it readily
accessible to newcomers. Once we're happy we know what good looks
like, then it will be part of the role of packaging.python.org to
provide the "just the facts" introduction that lowers the barriers to
entry, leaving the raw spec to the folks that are inclined to spend
our time reading RFCs and other specs :)


Nick Coghlan   |   ncoghlan at gmail.com   |   Brisbane, Australia

More information about the Distutils-SIG mailing list