[Python-ideas] Looking for input to help with the pip situation

Nathaniel Smith njs at pobox.com
Mon Nov 13 20:51:42 EST 2017

On Sun, Nov 12, 2017 at 8:59 AM, Brendan Barnwell <brenbarn at brenbarn.net> wrote:
> On 2017-11-12 05:18, Nick Coghlan wrote:
>> * the `pip install` option really is nicer looking than `python -m pip
>> install`, and it only has actual problems in the presence of multiple
>> Python versions and when upgrading pip itself on Windows (plus: lots
>> of third party guides recommend it, as do pypi.org project pages)
>         Is there any *advantage* to using `pip install` instead of `python
> -m install`?  If not, could we at least change everything under Python/pip
> control (e.g., pip documentation) to never recommend `pip` and always
> recommend `python -m pip` instead, and encourage all third-party
> documentation to always use `python -m pip` and never use `pip`? Obviously
> this isn't a full solution, but in the end there's no way we change external
> third-party documentation, which will always eventually become outdated.
> Absent that, it seems worthwhile to regularize existing official
> documentation.

Can we instead make it so that 'pip' and 'python -m pip' *are*
actually equivalent? I know there are all kinds of pathological things
that can happen, but it seems like we can drive the frequency of this
error down more.

What if instead of installing a standard entry point, the pip
executable was installed as

exec python -m pip "$@"

on Unix-likes, and a pip.bat with the equivalent contents on Windows?
(Bonus: maybe this would fix the problem with upgrading pip on


Nathaniel J. Smith -- https://vorpus.org

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