I was very excited by this at first, but I realize now that this doesn’t do quite what I was hoping it does. The way it works at the moment this is not a suitable tool for us to promote to end users, because it requires that you execute it in an environment that already meets the build requirements, which violates the spirit and explicit recommendations in the recommendations for build frontends section of PEP 517. This tool seems like it is only useful as part of package managers that handle creating their own build environments.
I’m a big tent kind of person, so I think having a “build tool for distro packagers” in the PyPA org is not a big deal, but I think that unless this is modified to run the build backend in an isolated environment using
pip to satisfy dependencies by default (with an option to skip this step if desired), then we should be very careful about the messaging here.
The biggest problem is that people don’t read things and they don’t understand what the PyPA is. People take anything in the PyPA org as “the official way to do X” and if they see a tool called
pybuild, they may think that this is the official replacement for
setup.py bdist_wheel sdist, which it cannot be.
So really, the problems I see are the extremely generic name (which gives no indication that this is a very “inside baseball” tool) and the fact that this almost but doesn’t quite solves a major missing feature from the Python packaging ecosystem. I fully acknowledge that it’s a bit unfair to say, “We can’t bring in your tool because it is too similar to a tool that we want to exist but haven’t built yet”, but on the other hand, that is a real problem.
Personally, I’d love to see this resolved in favor of expanding the scope of
build to be the tool for building wheels and source distributions; possibly one that has an alternate entry point for “Bring your own Environment” minimal mode. I realize that’s asking for Filipe to build (or maintain, assuming someone else is willing to build out the new scope) something new that he may have no interest in, so if that’s not in the cards, then I think the focus should be on making sure no one is misled by accepting this package.