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

Thomas Kluyver thomas at kluyver.me.uk
Thu Jun 15 10:18:45 EDT 2017

On Thu, Jun 15, 2017, at 03:10 PM, C Anthony Risinger wrote:
> I'm not trying to open a bikeshedding opportunity here -- and I tried
> to ignore it, honest! -- but why are tarballs preferable to zipfiles
> for sdists?> 
> ...
> Just seems a little odd/arbitrary to me that wheel is zip, python
> supports zip importing, sdists are often zip, and Windows is zip-
> central, but we'd decide to codify tar.gz.
I've wondered about that. My rationale for specifying tar.gz in PEP 517
is that we had decided in a previous discussion to move towards
standardising on that - specifically, to change distutils/setuptools to
default to making tar.gz sdists everywhere, rather than defaulting to
zip on Windows.
>From what I recall of that discussion, the rationale was:

1. A significant majority of existing sdists are in tar.gz format, so
   standardising that is less disruptive than standardising zip.2. Zip files are better when you want to access individual files from
   the archive, but tarballs are marginally better when you want to
   unpack the whole thing into a directory before using it. We think
   that sdists are normally used by unpacking them.

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