[Distutils] latest setuptools appears to require six in a breaking way

Eric Brunson brunson at brunson.com
Fri Jan 27 14:05:40 EST 2017

On Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 5:52 PM Donald Stufft <donald at stufft.io> wrote:

On Jan 25, 2017, at 12:27 PM, Eric Brunson <brunson at brunson.com> wrote:

It wasn't until recently the I realized how quickly releases to setuptools
and pip are being made, starting back in mid Dec when much of our
dependency resolution started failing.  There were three releases in the
past two days.  Four major and 22 minor releases in the past two months.
While I applaud the speed of development and the improvement in these
tools, don't you feel that breaking changes should be advertised better
before release or perhaps we should slow down the cadence for release?

I think an expectation that every setuptools user in the community start
their day by checking to see if there was a release in the past 24 hours is
a little unreasonable.  I've spent a dozen hours since 32.0.0 resolving
breakage in my own projects and assisting other developers in my org with
their setuptools issues, all the while pushing setuptools as the best
practice to do development and distribution.  Is this period of breaking
changes a short term thing that we just have to tough out for a few more


I don’t believe that pip is really releasing that quickly. We generally
make 1-2 “major” versions a year that include breaking changes, 2-4 “minor”
releases a year that add new features, and 6-10 patch releases that fix
bugs. To me that feels like a pretty decent pace of balancing not breaking
people and getting new changes into people’s hands and getting rid of
broken or less optimal parts of the code.

Now, setuptools is releasing faster than pip is and whether that’s a good
thing or not I don’t know. That’s a question for Jason largely :)

Hey Donald,

Thanks for the reply.

Doesn't pip rely heavily on setuptools?  I understand they have different
origins, but I thought that since pip was moved under the purview of PYPA a
lot of work was being done to converge the projects. When I run a pip -e
one of the last message I see is "running setuptools.py develop", which
isn't really a dependency, but can certainly cause people to infer that the
problem is with pip and not know setuptools. Even the release notes
Matthias references mentions pip as though it might be affected.

If pip doesn't rely on setuptools, does that mean we have two separate and
possibly different dependency resolution algorithms?

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