[Distutils] What is the official position on distutils?

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Sun Sep 4 05:17:59 EDT 2016

On 4 September 2016 at 06:44, Sylvain Corlay <sylvain.corlay at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Brett,
> On Sat, Sep 3, 2016 at 8:05 PM, Brett Cannon <brett at python.org> wrote:
>> If Jason is up for the responsibility that seems like a reasonable
>> approach to take. It also helps test out features in setuptools first before
>> upstreaming it.
> How do you see `has_flag` get into setuptools? By monkey-patching distutils'
> ccompiler to have it aside of `has_function` when setuptools is imported?
> I find really weird the idea of adding this in a convoluted fashion instead
> of allowing incremental improvement of distutils.

The change to distutils would still be a plain patch to distutils, it
would just be accepted at the API design level in setuptools first.

The problem you're running into right now isn't a technical one - it's
that there isn't anyone that currently feels like they have sufficient
design authority over the distutils API to accept your proposal, hence
Brett starting this thread to address that underlying recurring
question, rather than the specifics of your change.

Jason *definitely* has that design authority over setuptools though,
and will be tasked with making any API additions available on older
versions of Python via setuptools regardless of what policy we adopt
for distutils maintenance, so if he's amenable to the idea, it makes
sense to me to invert the order we ask those questions: add it to
setuptools first, and then add things to distutils where we feel
they're sufficiently stable to not need the benefit of the faster
setuptools update cycle.


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

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