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

Paul Moore p.f.moore at gmail.com
Thu Jun 15 17:05:48 EDT 2017

On 15 June 2017 at 21:49, Daniel Holth <dholth at gmail.com> wrote:
> Nothing wrong with sdist of course, but one thing I hear from the emphasis
> on sdist (something that pip can build automatically) is that maybe we are
> worried that a publisher, who gave us the software for free, will unduly
> inconvenience the consumer. But that would require an obligation from the
> producer to the consumer that I don't think exists. The publisher can make
> their software as useful or useless as possible, including not publishing it
> at all. In practice many open source publishers through their own intrinsic
> and mysterious motivations write and publish software that is both useful
> and easy to consume. If they are not obligated to publish, how can they be
> obligated to publish an sdist? even though they will likely do the latter in
> most cases when doing the former.

The problem is not about obligation, so much as making the path that
we want to promote the easiest.

Personally, I want to promote publication of sdists, as I believe
publishing source is a key pillar of open source, and publishing it in
a standardised, easy to consume form (not "go to my
githib/bitbucket/google code page and work out how to download the
source") is important. So, for me, making it as easy as possible for
software authors to provide sdists is important - and therefore, I am
in favour of requiring backends to provide a route to publish a sdist.
Of course, it is perfectly OK for backend authors to *not* offer that
facility, but again, I see no harm in making it easier for them to
integrate if they do offer a "publish a sdist" route.

So my support for the sdist proposals is based on my personal beliefs
around how to publish sources. Others may have different beliefs, and
those beliefs may mean that they support or oppose my position.

But there's no requiring obligations here, just people supporting
proposals that make things they care about easy, and (sometimes) make
things they disagree with harder.


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