[Python-Dev] [Distutils] The Breaking of distutils and PyPI for Python 3000?

Paul Moore p.f.moore at gmail.com
Wed Mar 19 10:52:19 CET 2008

On 19/03/2008, Jeff Rush <jeff at taupro.com> wrote:
>  1. What is the plan for PyPI when Python 3.0 comes out and
>     dependencies start getting satisfied from distribution
>     across the great divide, e.g. a 3.0-specific package
>     pulls from PyPI a 2.x-specific package to meet some
>     need?

As distutils (and core Python) doesn't do any automatic dependency
management, this is a setuptools issue. As such, it's up to setuptools
to deal with it. There may be infrastructure changes that would be
generally useful, but there's nothing *needed* for the core.

>  2. There have been attempts over the years to fix distutils,
>     with the last one being in 2006 by Anthony Baxter. He
>     stated that a major hurdle was the strong demand to
>     respect backward compatibility and he finally gave up.
>     One of the purposes of Python 3.0 was the freedom to
>     break backward compatibility for the sake of "doing
>     the right thing".  So is it now permissible to give
>     distutils a good reworking and stop letting
>     compatibility issues hold us back?

Sounds reasonable. I'm sure patches would be considered, but past
discussions around "including setuptools" have been controversial and
generally not reached consensus (for reasons other than pure backward
compatibility). Also, while compatibility isn't as important for 3.0,
smooth migration *is* - so any incompatible proposal must include some
consideration of how to assist people with huge, complex setup.py
files which use distutils internals in complex ways. So be prepared to
do some work :-)

(But I'd be happy to see distutils improved. I just don't have any
need for such improvement, personally).


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