[Python-Dev] PEP 382: Namespace Packages

M.-A. Lemburg mal at egenix.com
Wed Apr 15 09:51:30 CEST 2009

On 2009-04-15 02:32, P.J. Eby wrote:
> At 10:59 PM 4/14/2009 +0200, M.-A. Lemburg wrote:
>> You are missing the point: When breaking up a large package that lives in
>> site-packages into smaller distribution bundles, you don't need namespace
>> packages at all, so the PEP doesn't apply.
>> The way this works is by having a base distribution bundle that includes
>> the needed __init__.py file and a set of extension bundles the add
>> other files to the same directory (without including another copy of
>> __init__.py). The extension bundles include a dependency on the base
>> package to make sure that it always gets installed first.
> If we're going to keep that practice, there's no point to having the
> PEP: all three methods (base+extensions, pkgutil, setuptools) all work
> just fine as they are, with no changes to importing or the stdlib.

Again: the PEP is about creating a standard for namespace
packages. It's not about making namespace packages easy to use for
Linux distribution maintainers. Instead, it's targeting *developers*
that want to enable shipping a single package in multiple, separate
pieces, giving the user the freedom to the select the ones she needs.

Of course, this is possible today using various other techniques. The
point is that there is no standard for namespace packages and that's
what the PEP is trying to solve.

> In particular, without the feature of being able to drop that practice,
> there would be no reason for setuptools to adopt the PEP.  That's why
> I'm -1 on your proposal: it's actually inferior to the methods we
> already have today.

It's simpler and more in line with the Python Zen, not inferior.

You are free not to support it in setuptools - the methods
implemented in setuptools will continue to work as they are,
but continue to require support code and, over time, no longer
be compatible with other tools building upon the standard
defined in the PEP.

In the end, it's the user that decides: whether to go with a
standard or not.

Marc-Andre Lemburg

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