[Distutils] [final version?] PEP 513 - A Platform Tag for Portable Linux Built Distributions

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Thu Feb 4 03:14:15 EST 2016

On 2 Feb 2016 10:45, "Matthias Klose" <doko at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> On 30.01.2016 00:29, Nathaniel Smith wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I think this is ready for pronouncement now -- thanks to everyone for
>> all their feedback over the last few weeks!
> I don't think so.  I am biased because I'm the maintainer for Python in
Debian/Ubuntu.  So I would like to have some feedback from maintainers of
Python in other Linux distributions (Nick, no, you're not one of these).

The RHEL ABI maintainers raised very similar concerns (that's how I found
out about the current status of libabigail), but they're in a similar
position to you: Linux distros provide *much* stronger guarantees of ABI
compatibility than this PEP even attempts to provide.

Here's the key distinction though: not everything is a mission critical
production server, and we know from cross-distro redistributors like
Continuum Analytics & Enthought, as well as our own upstream experience
with the extraordinarily informal ABIs for Windows and Mac OS X wheels that
an underspecified approach like manylinux is likely to be good enough in

That puts the power in users' hands:

* by default, most users will get to use developer provided builds, rather
than having to build from source (bringing the Linux user experience up to
parity with that for Windows and Mac OS X)
* folks can still force the use of source builds if they prefer (e.g. to
better optimise for their OS and hardware, or to change the threat profile
for their open source project usage)
* folks can still opt to use a third party build service if they prefer
(whether that's a Linux distro or a cross platform redistributor)

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