[Python-Dev] [Catalog-sig] egg_info in PyPI

Michael Foord fuzzyman at voidspace.org.uk
Sat Sep 18 11:48:28 CEST 2010

  On 18/09/2010 08:52, "Martin v. Löwis" wrote:
>> I am in full agreement with Tarek here. At ActiveState, we maintain
>> our own index that differs from PyPI in two ways (among others):
> I think you are saying something very different from what Tarek
> says. IIUC, you are saying that egg-info is ill-defined and may
> cause subtle problems. So you are saying there is a problem for
> the users of the data. I could live with that - it's the user's
> choice to use these data, after all.
> Tarek is saying that it will be evil and bad for the community
> to unpack some zip files. I find that statement itself counter-productive.

With the distutils2 work very close to landing in the standard library, 
providing infrastructure that will cause tools to *depend* on the old 
formats is a very bad idea. If tool use this metadata then it could well 
prevent packages that want to be compatible with these tools from using 

What PyPI does effectively becomes "the standard" for a large chunk of 
the Python world (which is why changing the format PyPI provides data in 
can be so hard). Now seems a really dumb time to bless the setuptools 
metadata format as the defacto standard after so much work has gone into 
replacing it and that effort is so close to completion.

So - I agree with Tarek. Exposing this information on PyPI would be 
problematic for the Python community. Not only does the data have the 
problems that Tarek and Sridhar point out, but it would actively hinder 
adoption of the better replacement.

All the best,

Michael Foord

>> Ideally, in future - I should be able to query static metadata (with
>> environment markers[2] and such) for *any* package from PyPI. And
>> this static metadata is simply a DIST-INFO file (instead of being a
>> directory with a bunch of files in it). I don't really see a point in
>> providing access to, say, the list of entry points of each package.
> Again, that is completely different from what Tarek is saying.
> You said (just now, and literally): "I don't really see a point".
> Converting this to the -1/0/+1 system, it sounds like +0 to me:
> you are unlikely to ever use this data.
> This is perfectly fine with me: I won't use the data myself, either.
> However, I fail to see why this should stop me from providing the
> data, when there are people requesting this feature over and over
> again. I'd like to see some of Python's "consenting adults" attitude
> here.
> Regards,
> Martin
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