Packaging and Python 2

The desupport did in fact include appropriate Requires-Python metadata, and so should in theory have been seamless for users. However, it looks as if in practice, Requires-Python (and more specifically the data-requires-python tag for index servers) isn’t always exposed on custom indexes, and that’s what caused the worst problems.

So I think that the lessons here should be:

  1. Requires-Python (and data-requires-python) isn’t as robust a transition mechanism as we’d like.
  2. Core PyPA tools (like pip, setuptools and virtualenv) are used heavily in automated setups that pick up the latest release without warning and without in-advance testing. We can bemoan that as bad practice as much as we want, but it’s a reality that we need to deal with.

While projects should remain able to decide for themselves how they handle Python 2 desupport, it’s not unreasonable to expect sufficient advance warning, at least so that the various PyPA tools can provide a co-ordinated approach. We’ve had a number of “new release broke X” issues recently, and while they mostly haven’t been things we can control (see the points above) we should do what we can to be more prepared.

Do we know which tools might need patching to expose the data? Or is it all custom servers instead of bandersnatch/devpi-based stuff?

The case reported in the pip ticket was someone building their own wheels and exposing them as an index by just pointing Apache at the directory. There’s not really much we can do about that sort of scenario.

Ultimately the problem is that the “simple” repository API isn’t that simple any more, and needs actual work to implement correctly…

I guess pip could potentially be taught to respect python-requires even when given bare wheel files? Even if getting that info into the resolver is hard, then it could still error out when asked to install a py3-only wheel on a py2 environment…

It does this already.

That’s the crux. It would require downloading and unpacking the wheel, which is something we do for dependencies, but it’s costly and we’d prefer not to do it any more often than we have to.

Thinking some more about it, why is setuptools 45.0.0 a universal wheel??? Surely the simplest solution here would be for the wheel to be setuptools-45.0.0-py3-none-any.whl, rather than setuptools-45.0.0-py2.py3-none-any.whl?

@pganssle is this something that the setuptools maintainers could/should have done, or is there a problem with it that I’ve missed? My suspicion is that we’ve all become so used to “unversal wheel” = “pure Python” that we’ve just forgotten that this option exists…

Assuming that’s a realistic solution, maybe we should start recommending that projects which drop Python 2 support should simply stop publishing py2.py3 wheels at that point?

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Without Python-Requires metadata, pip would still prefer and install the 45.0.0 sdist (except with the --prefer-binary option).

Rats. Apparently my reply must be at least 10 characters, but I don’t have anything more to say beyond “rats” :slight_smile: