[Distutils] Entry points: specifying and caching

Nathaniel Smith njs at pobox.com
Thu Oct 26 03:57:12 EDT 2017

On Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 11:59 PM, Nick Coghlan <ncoghlan at gmail.com> wrote:
> Yeah, here's the gist of what I had in mind regarding the malware problem
> (i.e. aiming to ensure we don't get all of setup.py's problems back again):
> - a package's own install hooks do *not* get called for that package

Doesn't that break the entry point caching use case that started this
whole discussion? When you first install the caching package, then it
has to immediately build the cache for the first time.

I don't really have the time or interest to dig into this (I know
there are legitimate use cases for entry points but I'm very wary of
any feature where package A starts doing something different because
package B was installed). But, I just wanted to throw out that I see
at least two reasons we might want to "bake in" the caching as part of
our PEPified metadata:

- if we do want to add "install hooks", then we need some way for a
package to declare it has an install hook and for pip-or-whoever to
find it. The natural way would be to use an entry point, which means
entry points are in some sense "more fundamental" than install hooks.

- in general, the only thing that can update an entry-point cache is
the package that's doing the install, at the time it runs. In
particular, consider an environment with some packages installed in
/usr, some in /usr/local, some in ~/.local/. Really you want one cache
in each location, and then to have dpkg/rpm responsible for updating
the /usr cache (this is something they're familiar with, it's
isomorphic to stuff like /etc/ld.so.cache), 'sudo pip' responsible for
updating the /usr/local cache, and 'pip --user' responsible for
updating the ~/.local/ cache. If we go the install hook route instead,
then when I do 'pip install --user entry_point_cacher' then there's no
way that it'll ever have the permissions to write to /usr, and maybe
not to /usr/local either depending on how you want to handle the
interaction between 'sudo pip' and ~/.local/ install hooks, so it
just... won't actually work as a caching tool. Similarly, it's
probably easier to convince conda to regenerate a single standard
entry point cache after installing a conda package, than it would be
to convince them to run generic wheel install hooks when not even
installing wheels.


Nathaniel J. Smith -- https://vorpus.org

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