Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Clarification Or Two

It seems that one aspect of the response to my announcement yesterday was one I didn't anticipate: people assuming that my statement about uninstalling Distribute was some sort of snark or an attempt at competition, power plays, etc.

But since the annoucement was made to the Distutils-SIG mailing list, I assumed anyone reading it would already know that having both Distribute and setuptools on sys.path would in most cases cause you to still be using Distribute, and not setuptools.

And just as obviously, it would mean you were testing Distribute, rather than setuptools, thereby invalidating the usefulness of any test results.

As for the comment about bugs being fixed differently, I wanted to make the point that testing Distribute does not equal testing 0.6c10; people should not assume that 0.6c10 has already seen as wide usage as the Distribute code has.  I just wrote it this weekend, for heaven's sake.   (Conversely, if someone is concerned about some of the bugs that were on the setuptools tracker, they deserve to know that not all the patches on the tracker -- and used in Distribute -- were correct or complete, in my estimation.)

Was there a teeny bit of annoyance in there as well?  Might the tone of that paragraph have been a little off?  Perhaps.  I edited it several times, trying to minimize any show-through of annoyance, and keep it 100% neutral/factual, but I can certainly believe that a bit of it came through anyway.  I am annoyed, after all.

I'm annoyed that I had to prepare this release.  I'm annoyed that people rant about me not doing anything, and then the same people turn right back around and rant when I do do something.  I'm annoyed that setuptools has been widely blamed for yet another problem that it didn't actually create.  (Two, actually: the 2.6.3 problem itself, and then the subsequent brouhaha on Python-Dev.)

Sure, I'm annoyed about lots of things.

That doesn't mean I want anybody to uninstall Distribute, for any other reason than that they'd rather use setuptools.

After all, I'm making a new release of setuptools primarily so people have the option of not being forced to use Distribute -- and so that Python-Dev isn't forced to make a new Python release just for the benefit of setuptools users.

So it's certainly not my intention to force anyone to use setuptools.  I'm not even trying to persuade anyone to use it in place of Distribute, for heaven's sake.  (Hell, if you're interested in Python 3 support, Distribute is the only game in town right now. Oh, and I even suggested that Guido put Distribute in the stdlib...  and despite the smiley, I wasn't kidding.)

In short, not being forced to do one thing, is not the same as being forced or persuaded to do the opposite.  Capisce?

Okay, that's all, you can now return to your regularly scheduled blaming and flaming.  Pay no attention to the man in the corner, trying to do something useful.

P.S.  There are people I'd trust with maintainership (or at least committership) of setuptools who are working on Distribute.  It's the public nastiness of certain parties that torpedoed the negotiations on that topic back in July, despite the oft-repeated claims by some that I wouldn't turn over the reins to anyone.  See, for example, this attempt to open discussions on that line, or the last paragraph of this, where I expressed excitement at the idea of having 0.6 get cleaned up by someone else.  (OTOH, if I'd realized it would only take me a weekend rather than a couple of weeks to clean up the backlog, I'd have done it six months ago!  So, that bit of delay is my fault.)

Also, for anyone who thinks that my announcement of this release was completely out of the blue, please see the "new setuptools release" thread on Python-Dev, in particular, the post where I said I was planning to make a new release this week, by this Monday, in order to address the outstanding issue with 2.6.3.

P.P.S. Let's keep it constructive in the comments, shall we?  Comments that show no sign of their author's having read and grokked this entire post (and the items linked to above)will be summarily deleted, no matter how otherwise thoughtful the comment might be.

Frankly, anyone who can read all the links I just gave, and still think I'm deliberately trying to put one over on anybody, spring unannounced surprises, hijack Distribute in some way, or unwilling to hand over significant chunks of setuptools responsibility, well...  let's just say that hypothetical person is not being very charitable, and leave it at that.  Here's hoping you're better than that.