[Distutils] Deprecating little used file types/extensions on PyPI?

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Sun Aug 21 12:18:19 EDT 2016

On 21 August 2016 at 18:21, Robert Collins <robertc at robertcollins.net> wrote:
> tl;dr: I think standardising on .tar.gz would be a rather shortsighted
> thing to do, given how many Windows users Python has and how much of a
> different supporting .zip makes for workflow on that platform - with
> no negative impacts on any other platform.

Once we have a universal default, unilaterally changing that default
gets easier, rather than harder - the main precedent being set here is
that we *don't want* the default format to be platform dependent, we
want there to be just one default.

My core assumption in recommending starting with tar.gz as that
universal default is that Windows users will mostly be interacting
with sdists through tooling that is closely linked to or at least
originated in the Python ecosystem (easy_install, pip, PyPM, conda,
Enthought Canopy, buildout, Christoph Gohlke's Windows installers),
and that double-clicking a Python sdist in an Explorer window is not
something most folks are in the habit of doing.

By contrast, I *know* Linux distros are in the habit of pulling
release tarballs from PyPI and feeding them directly into their
release pipelines, so the potential for unanticipated breakage seems
much higher there, and more likely to fall on community distros rather
than on commercial Python redistributors (simply because there are
more volunteers working on Linux based tooling than there are on
WIndows developer tools).

Now, it may be that first assumption is wrong, and that folks actually
are relying on the sdist-as-zip behaviour on Windows in the same way
folks rely on the sdist-as-tarball behaviour on Linux. If that's the
case, then the Python 3.6 beta period will be the point where we
really want the Windows-supporting redistributors and folks doing
development and deployment on Windows to kick the tires of this change
and report any problems that arise - it may be that we end up needing
to find a different way to close the current format loophole that
allows two different sdists to be uploaded for the same version.


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

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