Wanting a singular packaging tool/vision

I think the individuals fighting for improvements in this space are heroes in their own right, though I don’t think the situation is worth celebrating.

I once summarized the situation for a presentation as follows:

The core issue is that packaging is an afterthought also on the language level, and it shows. Guido routinely said he’s not interested in the packaging side, and the fact that PyPA operates so far removed from the SC reinforces that. So I’m excited to hear:

… because this issue needs more than a couple lone volunteers trying to firefight the problems with “Step 0” for all of python. It’s a language level issue (already pointed out as possible Black Swan Russell Keith-Magee’s PyCon 2019 keynote), and should be treated as such[1].

Rust doesn’t, that’s for sure. But C++ struggles with the exact same problem, especially w.r.t. to tooling/packaging. And it’s a completely unsolved problem there as well – so I empathise with the difficulty of fixing this. But all the languages that have decent answers to this made packaging a first-class citizen – the same can hardly be said about python (yet?!).

As a positive counter-example, even Fortran(!) managed to reinvent itself and now has a package manager.

  1. It’s IMO reminiscent of a tragedy of the commons - everyone needs to install packages, but it’s really unappealing to try to solve the surrounding immense challenges as an individual, so people will just hack something together on their machine until it runs, so they can get back to the fun part. ↩︎