[docs] [issue22711] Distribution guide should link directly to distutils & setuptools API references

Nick Coghlan report at bugs.python.org
Sat Oct 25 15:37:11 CEST 2014

Nick Coghlan added the comment:

Since the community has been so successful at shouting down most previous attempts at fundamental Python packaging ecosystem improvements, I am extraordinarily hostile to anything that even hints at attempting to do so again. I interpreted the proposal originally put forward in this issue as just such an attempt. Specifically, it reads to me as "ah, this link was too hard to find, despite still being the top link when searching 'python distutils', let's revert all the docs changes, so newcomers to Python can go back to being just as lost and confused as they were before PEP 453 was accepted and implemented".

The legacy docs are not better than packaging.python.org or the setuptools docs - they are actively misleading in several respects, and extracting useful information from them requires that you already be an expert in the Python packaging ecosystem so you can successfully figure out which bits you need to ignore and which bits provide relevant information not yet covered anywhere else.

However, on rereading https://docs.python.org/3/distributing/, I agree it should at least point readers directly at the package API references for both distutils and setuptools. At the moment, even the existing inline references aren't hyperlinked.

The "distutils" landing page should also point readers directly at the setuptools docs, rather than requiring an indirection via the packaging user guide.

title: "legacy" distutils docs better than packaging guide -> Distribution guide should link directly to distutils & setuptools API references

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