[Distutils] PEP 517: Open questions around artifact export directories

Paul Moore p.f.moore at gmail.com
Mon Jun 12 18:34:22 EDT 2017

On 12 June 2017 at 21:57, Thomas Kluyver <thomas at kluyver.me.uk> wrote:
> There is a certain appeal to using the zipped .whl file as the canonical
> format for all tools that produce or consume wheels, rather than defining a
> closely related but distinct 'unpacked wheel' format. A directory and a zip
> file do not have 100% identical features (filename encodings may differ,
> entries in a zip file are ordered, there may be metadata in one format
> that's not present in the other, and so on).

This is a reasonable point. As I understand it, zipfiles are
guaranteed to support the full Unicode range for filenames, via UTF-8.
But it's not impossible for filesystems to only support a limited
subset (for example, I believe the encoding used for FAT32 filesystems
is not clearly defined, but is probably some 8-bit codepage, and Unix
systems rely on whatever encoding the user has specified via the
locale settings).

I can't offhand imagine a practical situation where the filesystem
encoding of the build system would cause wheel generation to fail, but
would work for the rest of the build chain - but on the other hand,
this whole question is pretty borderline in any case, as far as I can
tell, so I'm somewhat inclined to go for using the format that
*doesn't* have potential encoding issues built in (I'm pretty sick of
dealing with encoding issues with pip...)

But honestly, I think we're at the point where someone just needs to
make a decision - there's very little compelling evidence either way.

More information about the Distutils-SIG mailing list