[Python-Dev] ​improvement on shutil.make_archive

Paul Moore p.f.moore at gmail.com
Mon Aug 20 11:18:57 EDT 2018

On Mon, 20 Aug 2018 at 15:58, Zhao Lee <redstone-cold at 163.com> wrote:
> The current behavior of shutil.make_archive caused many issues , the problem is mainly on the extracted archive directory hierarchy. These are the proofs:
> https://stackoverflow.com/questions/51914467/directory-hierarchy-issue-when-using-shutil-make-archive
> https://stackoverflow.com/questions/32640053/compressing-directory-using-shutil-make-archive-while-preserving-directory-str
> https://stackoverflow.com/questions/41624800/shutil-make-archive-issue-dont-want-directories-included-in-zip-file
> https://stackoverflow.com/questions/50156657/unexpected-file-using-shutil-make-archive-to-compress-file
> For example , if I want to create a zip archive of the pip package (path specified by pip.__path__[0])), and need a directory named pip to hold the  files and folders which originally reside in the pip package when unpacking the archive, then I need give root_dirparameter of shutil.make_archive the parent directory of the pippackage path (root_dir=Path(pip.__path__[0]).parent), and then the base_dir parameter the final path component of the pip package path(base_dir=Path(pip.__path__[0]).name) , so it is os.path.join(root_dir, base_dir) that specified the directory to archive , so weird !!!
> I suggest to change shutil.make_archive(base_name, format[, root_dir[, base_dir]]) to shutil.make_archive(base_name, format[, archived_dir[, archive_prfix]]) where archived_dirdenotes the path to be archived and archive_prfix denotes the common prefix of all files and directories in the archive (it is just a path component and we shouldn’t assume the existence of it on the file system).
> If the current behavior of shutil.make_archive won’t be changed , I’d suggest improve its doc, because  so many people couldn’t grasp the use of shutil.make_archive even consulting the doc , these are the proofs:
> https://stackoverflow.com/questions/45245079/python-how-to-use-shutil-make-archive
> https://stackoverflow.com/questions/30049201/how-to-compress-a-file-with-shutil-make-archive-in-python

Thanks for your interest, and for pointing out this problem.
Personally, I don't see that much of an issue with the current
documentation of base_dir and root_dir. But as a native English
speaker with a pretty long history of working with and reading
programming documentation, that's easy for me to say...

I expect that PR suggesting some improvements to the documentation
would be very welcome - in particular, the section would almost
certainly benefit from some examples. If that's something you'd feel
comfortable doing, that would be great.


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