[Distutils] PEP 517: Build system API

Thomas Kluyver thomas at kluyver.me.uk
Thu Nov 24 14:50:36 EST 2016

On Thu, Nov 24, 2016, at 12:23 AM, Daniel Holth wrote:

> I wouldn't be afraid of editable installs. They are trivial and
> involve building the package in place and putting a .pth file where it
> will be noticed. Specify editable packages can't necessarily be
> uninstalled in a standard way and you are done.
> The bespoke build tool tells pip where the package root is (where .dist-
> info will be written), usually . or ./src, then pip does .pth.

The way it's specified at present is for pip to ask the build tool
(setuptools, flit, etc.) to do an editable install by whatever means.

I hate the thing setuptools does with .pth files all over the place, so
the equivalent operation in flit symlinks packages to site-packages. I
made a PR to flit to handle this case better in uninstallation.

I think Nathaniel's right: editable installs are going to be a source
of controversity and complexity. Let's drop that hook from the PEP for
now (ie. 1c) - it's still useful without it, and the design of the
build interface allows extra hooks to be specified and easily added in
the future.

Does anyone feel strongly that we should keep the editable install hook
in the current PEP? If not, I'll make a PR removing it (and switching
the underscore to dash, as that seems to be the consensus).

I'm also happy to look into implementing PEPs 518 and 517 in pip, though
it might be a week or two before I get time.


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