[Python-Dev] Distutils ML wrap-up: setup.cfg new format

M.-A. Lemburg mal at egenix.com
Wed Sep 23 09:49:16 CEST 2009

Tarek Ziadé wrote:
> Hello
> Here's a wrapup of the Distutils-SIG discussion
> we had on the "static metadata" topic.
> I realize that it's a good thing to send in.
> python-dev such wrapup on distutils design
> decisions, to keep everyone informed and get
> more feedback when required.
> I will try to do it for every upcoming changes
> that are not going in a PEP process (when it's not
> a 'big' change). The rate of such mails should
> not be very high. (around 1 mail in python-dev
> for +150 mails in distutils-SIG)
> If you feel that what we are about to change in distutils
> is wrong, you can go ahead and help us by participating
> in Distutils-ML, so we keep one and only one media
> for these discussions.
> The four sentences summary for people in a hurry:
>     Getting metadata of a distribution that is not.
>     installed means running its setup.py. This means.
>     downloading the whole archive, and running.
>     third party code on your system.
>     To avoid it, we are adding a [setup] section in.
>     setup.cfg where you can express the package metadata
>     statically.
>     Conditional sections, specific to some system.
>     can be added to add some specific fields in [setup].
>     At the end, you will be able to get metadata fields
>     without running any third-party code, and possibly
>     get only the distribution setup.cfg for this.

While it's a good idea to put up some form of meta-data
into an index, I wonder why you are using setup.cfg
for this.

setup.cfg has traditionally been used to configure distutils,
not to define meta-data. As such you wouldn't want to
put such a configuration file up on PyPI.

Wouldn't it be better use a new file for this (with the
same syntax), e.g. metadata.cfg ?! This would then just
contain the meta data that needs to be published.

Marc-Andre Lemburg

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