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distribute vs setuptools

So I just read this piece of news on the distutils-sig list.  Here's a

setuptools has become increasingly popular as a method of making python
modules easier to package (by upstream), managing plugins, and getting
version requirements right.  However, the setuptools author has been
somewhat lackadaisical about maintaining the code, integrating bugfixes,
etc.  Since the setuptools author hasn't wanted to pass the torch on to
someone else, the project has forked.  Distribute-0.6 is the compatible fork
with multiple maintainers who are interested in preserving setuptools
compatibility in the 0.6 branch and making real (but API changing)
improvements in the 0.7 branch.

Due to the non-maintenance of setuptools, some other Linux distros have
started shipping distribute-0.6 as their setuptools module.  Their plan is to
ship distribute-0.6 as setuptools and distribute-0.7 as distribute.  By
doing this, the consumers of setuptools don't have to change their package
(all the import statements) to use distribute instead of setuptools.  If
they didn't do this, the packages would need to be patched to use distribute
instead of setuptools.

The benefit of this is that they get a maintained piece of code with an
upstream that is responsive to bug reports, patches, and takes distribution
problems into consideration (even if they can't always do something about
them in the 0.6 codebase).  The downsides are that the setuptools upstream
is alive even if it isn't thriving and the setuptools maintainer could throw
a monkey into the works by releasing API breaking changes when he does a new
setuptools release.

Since I'm the current setuptools maintainer and have had issues trying to
get bugs fixed in upstream setuptools before, I'm inclined to do this as
well but the drawbacks are nothing to ignore.  So what do other people think
of our doing this as well?  If we don't do this, an alternative might be to
plan on packaging distribute0.6 and distribute0.7 parallel installable.
Then we can port packages to use distribute instead of setuptools when its
available and submit those patches to upstream projects.


----- Forwarded message from Arfrever Frehtes Taifersar Arahesis <arfrever fta gmail com> -----

Date: Thu, 8 Oct 2009 23:07:13 +0200
From: Arfrever Frehtes Taifersar Arahesis <arfrever fta gmail com>
To: distutils-sig python org
Subject: Re: [Distutils] Packaging Distribute
X-BeenThere: distutils-sig python org

2009-10-04 23:52:25 Sridhar Ratnakumar napisał(a):
> On Sun, 04 Oct 2009 13:41:06 -0700, Tarek Ziadé <ziade tarek gmail com>  
> wrote:
> > The other way would be to use Distribute instead of Setuptools for
> > what the packaging system is calling "setuptools". That's pretty
> > much what is happening in Gentoo (arch) and UHU-Linux (dev),
> > right now
> Interesting. Gentoo uses distribute but retains the name 'setuptools'?

It's because Distribute 0.6.* installs setuptools.* modules.
Distribute 0.7.* will be under name dev-python/distribute.

> Ah. But what if PJE releases setuptools with the *same* version number  
> 0.6.3? What would the gentoo folks do in order to get the new setuptools  
> release in their packaging system? Or did they make a decision of totally  
> dropping setuptools from their repository?

We could switch to back to Setuptools only if Setuptools became more
maintained than Distribute.

Arfrever Frehtes Taifersar Arahesis

Distutils-SIG maillist  -  Distutils-SIG python org

----- End forwarded message -----

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