[Distutils] PEP 517 again

Daniel Holth dholth at gmail.com
Thu Aug 31 13:12:28 EDT 2017

On Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 12:58 PM Chris Barker <chris.barker at noaa.gov> wrote:

> On Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 8:57 AM, Paul Moore <p.f.moore at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > As to using pip to build wheels -- there is good reason to do that
>> > now, but in s post PEP 517 world, one would call the build system
>> > directly to build a wheel-- after all, all pip should be  doing is
>> > calling the build system anyway.
>> I disagree - "pip wheel" will still be useful, for example to obtain a
>> wheel from PyPI either by downloading or download & build. Also just
>> to have a unified interface that works regardless of the project
>> backend - if a project switches from setuptools to flit, for example,
>> it would be good if deployment and test scripts didn't have to change.
> Isn't that why we have PEP 517? I unified interface to build tools?
> So I still expect pip wheel to be useful in a post-PEP 517 world.
> Maybe so -- but all pip should be doing is passing off the job to the
> back-end.
> Again, the package manager, well, manages the packages. It shouldn't be
> concerned with how to build them.

pip has always been under appreciated as a build tool. Suppose the next
version of pip dropped support for sdists and could only install wheels.
Then it would not be a build tool. Very little changes when it switches to
supporting sdists from its own setup.py machinery to a more pluggable
mechanism. It is a little controversial that it can produce wheels for
re-use but the feature is very practical. You could put 'pip wheel' under a
different command line tool but why bother.
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