What is the purpose of a source distribution? I want able to find a definition of sdist, let alone it’s purpose, in any PEP or documentation.
From what I can tell, it’s one of the following:
- A means of distributing the original source of a package (ie no generated code), to be installed or built into a wheel with possibly some intermediary programs (Cython, cmake, etc)
- A way to distribute the package to platforms which don’t have a wheel built for them, to be directly installed or built into a wheel
Currently, it seems it’s the former.
In the case of Cython, they’re documentation recommend to include the generated C code in the source distribution, which means the distribution is a combination of the two.
PS: In my opinion, it should be the latter, as you can archive your repository to achieve the former (assuming a repo is used).