Inconsistent handling of python3-module vs python3x-module packages

marco atzeri
Wed Feb 16 11:45:58 GMT 2022

On Wed, Feb 16, 2022 at 12:11 PM Adam Dinwoodie  wrote:
> While wrangling a bunch of Python packages for my Cygwin installation,
> I've noticed an inconsistency about how python3 vs python3x packages are
> installed.

Only one ? ;-)

> As an example: the python3 package itself describes itself as a
> meta-package; the package itself is almost empty, and the key thing
> selecting the package does is depend on the latest python3x package,
> currently python39.  The same behaviour is in place with, for example,
> python3-tkinter.

Yes, these are real meta packages that pull the latest version

> However the python3-pytest package is marked as obsolete, and is
> obsoleted by python36-pytest.  If I select python3-pytest for
> installation, the package that's actually installed is python36-pytest,
> even though there's a python39-pytest package available.
> This inconsistency means that someone naively installing python3-tkinter
> and python3-pytest will end up with both python3.9 and python3.6
> installed, with neither installation having access to both the pytest
> and tkinter modules.

This is an artifact of of cygport creating python3-xxxx packages
also for packages that never had a real package called like that.
We had  a discussion if it was worth to make the  python3-xxxx pulling the
 python39-xxxx instead of python39-xxxx and it was decided against it.

> I think this inconsistency is liable to cause confusion; it certainly
> confused me until I worked out what was going on.  In my ideal world,
> we'd be in a situation where I could specify `python3-foo` to an install
> script and it'd automatically pick up the latest Python version
> available; I could specify `python3x-foo` if I wanted a specific older
> release.  But at the very least, I'd really like to see these packages
> being handled consistently one way or another.

I expect no one looking for a package will look for obsolete packages.

> Adam


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