python's setuptools (eggs) vs ruby's gems survey/discussion

Alia Khouri alia_khouri at
Mon Jun 9 09:36:13 CEST 2008

Might as well answer the survey myself:

> A few questions (please add more) so far are:

> (1) Should setuptools be standard?

Not at this stage. What pythonistas need is a cross-platform package
manager that is included in the stdlib. Setuptools is simply not
mature enough nor pythonic enough to be standard in its current form.

> (2) What bugs you most about the current featureset?

- no uninstall so I have to spend time manually removing old egg files/
- pollutes my site-packages directory with lots of sparse egg-info
- uglifies my sys.path
- the egg directory structure is unpythonically deep
- confusing documentation
- easy_install is a mouthful (why not 'python -m egg.install')

> (3) Which features do you need the most (list in order of need)?

- uninstall
- clean up location of egg files
- better dependency management (doesn't break)
- works with multiple versions of python
- list available packages / versions / dependencies
- local database of packages (why not use sqlite?)

> (4) Shouldn't we just port gems to python?

I don't think that's bad idea...

> (5) What's the best community process to improve setuptools?

Perhaps we can all contribute some cash/time/effort to improve
setuptools or even rewrite the python package manager of our
collective dreams...

> (6) What's your ideal conception of the 'standard python package
> manager?

Pure Python. Combines the best features of port/apt-get/gems while
being in the stdlib


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