[Python-Dev] Is distutils.util.get_platform() the "current" or the "target" platform

Steve Dower steve.dower at python.org
Fri Feb 15 17:02:43 EST 2019

On 14Feb2019 1147, Gregory P. Smith wrote:
> To alleviate confusion long term I'd love it if we could deprecate the 
> unqualified get_platform() API and point people towards always being 
> explicit about get_target_platform() vs get_current_platform().

This is an option too, though it doesn't reduce the code churn. I 
personally want to consider distutils deprecated as a whole anyway, and 
only maintained for the sake of our core needs.

> There are valid reasons for people to be expecting either target or 
> current return values from get_platform(), but I agree with you, having 
> it return the target platform /feels/ more likely to be what people 
> want.  It'd be worth auditing a random sample of people's calls of this 
> API in open source projects to confirm that intuition.

I took a random sample of about 50 uses from GitHub and 100% of them 
were copies of our distutils/tests/test_util.py (not even kidding: 

If you go far enough down the results, they're all copies of wheel's (or 
pip's) pep425tags.py, which import distutils.util but don't seem to use 

I'm inclined to say that nobody but us uses this API :) Does that make 
it seem more okay to "clarify" that it's returning target platform?


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