[openstack-dev] [all] Setting epoch in setup.cfg??
mordred at inaugust.com
Tue Jul 14 15:41:12 UTC 2015
On 07/14/2015 11:08 AM, Ian Cordasco wrote:
> On 7/13/15, 16:19, "Joshua Harlow" <harlowja at outlook.com> wrote:
>> Ian Cordasco wrote:
>>> On 7/13/15, 15:09, "Dave Walker"<email at daviey.com> wrote:
>>>> On 13 Jul 2015 8:52 pm, "Ian Cordasco"<ian.cordasco at rackspace.com>
>>>>> On 7/13/15, 03:38, "Thierry Carrez"<thierry at openstack.org> wrote:
>>>>>> By "counter-productive", I meant: likely to generate more confusion
>>>>>> clarity. If you provide an epoch in the version and it doesn't match
>>>>>> downstream packagers ones, it's hard to rely on it.
>>>>> I see what you mean now. The thing is that for Debian/Fedora the epoch
>>>>> syntax is different from PEP 440
>>>>> For them it's
>>>>> PEP 440 epochs are separated by a !, so let's say $(distro) has an
>>>>> value of "1" and we choose "2", for glance the version would look ugly
>>>>> would be:
>>>> This would be a problem for at least Ubuntu and Debian as the version
>>>> string is specifically not allowed to contain a '!'.
>>>> "The upstream_version may contain only alphanumerics and the
>>>> characters .
>>>> +- : ~ (full stop, plus, hyphen, colon, tilde) and should start with a
>>>> digit." 
>>> Thanks for the input Dave. I didn't see that part since I was
>>> looking for how epochs are denoted. I still am quite certain that we
>>> no choice but to use the proper versioning tools upstream though and
>>> means using ! to indicate the epoch in our version strings because these
>>> are fundamentally Python packages.
>> +1 we produce python versions, and people use them (whether they are
>> uploaded to pypi or not) so we should try to do the right thing here no
>> matter what. If downstream distro (rh, ubuntu, other...) wants to
>> convert that into its local epoch scheme that's cool (and I would expect
>> them to do that in the correct manner that is appropriate for there
> Since the mailing list reaches the largest number of people, I thought I'd
> continue some of this discussion here.
> Yesterday some further discussion happened in #openstack-infra (on IRC),
> and the crux of the argument against Epochs seems to be that they make it
> hard to deal with archives on the command line, e.g., you'd have an
> archive generated that looks like:
> Perhaps I'm misunderstanding, but any relatively modern shell that allows
> for tab completion will properly tab-complete that when using the filename.
> Another argument is that this is something ugly that we'll have to live
> with for the rest of OpenStack's life. Without it, however, we'll have to
> live with 12.0.0 < (the last four years of version numbers) as a sorting
> mechanism as far as Python packaging is concerned.
> There's also the argument that (paraphrasing) this isn't really a problem
> for people using pip because you can do `pip install -U nova==12.0.0` once
> and you're done. Except that if you have a local package index and you're
> support reproducible builds of multiple versions, say, Juno (2014.2.x),
> Kilo (2015.1.y), Liberty (your version number depends on project but is
> strictly less than both Juno and Kilo), and M. If you upgrade a project
> from Liberty to M, you have to still use `pip install -U nova==13.0.0`
> because `pip install -U nova` will install Kilo because neither Liberty
> nor M are using an epoch. We're effectively saying "if you support more
> than one release at a time using the python packaging ecosystem, you're a
> second class citizen in OpenStack".
> In other words, this will be an ongoing problem. Epochs are clearly a
> necessity, otherwise our downstream distributors wouldn't be using them
> and the PEP 440 authors wouldn't have included them. Epochs were designed
> exactly for this situation, and while they're ugly, they're the absolutely
> correct approach here.
> As a sidenote, in case people are wondering how epochs even work with pip,
> 2015.1.0 has an implicit epoch of 0, e.g., the version can be equivalently
> written as 0!2015.1.0. 1!12.0.0 would sort higher because 1 has a higher
> value than the implicit 0. 1!13.0.0 then defers to the rest of the version
> string because they belong to the same epoch.
Those are all only physical manifestations of the concern I shared, not
the concerns themselves.
Here are my actual thoughts and concerns:
pip is not a downstream distribution. It is not as rich as dpkg or rpm.
The issues that they solve by using epochs are not the same problem
space pip exists in.
In downstream distros, such as debian and fedora, the work of and
complexity of epochs are packager concerns. End users are not generally
exposed to them, because a release of a Linux distro has one version of
a given thing at any time. So the problem space as a user is "I want to
install the version of the software that exists in the current release
of my distro contains" In that problem space, epochs provide a tool when
an upstream (like us) does something that conflicts with the version
sorting rules in the distro.
With pip/pypi, all of the versions are there, and people interact with
versions more directly. That means that having human understandable
versions is more important.
An epoch, being a tool designed for package maintainers to solve package
maintainer problems, is not a tool designed to solve ease of
communication issues for regular users. Most regular users immediately
grasp that 2.0.0 > 1.0.0. Most regular users do NOT intuitively grasp
that 1!1.0.0 > 0!2.0.0 - nor why the heck there is a ! in the version.
We're moving to semver versions to better align with understandable
version numbering as people regularly use it. Yes, this is going to
cause a short term grief for a set of people. However, it is a VERY
simple problem for those people to overcome, if it is actually a problem
for them at all.
To be clear, since we have never published the servers to PyPI, it means
that there are the following ways in which people can install the servers:
a) from the distros. Yes. this means that the distro packagers will have
to add an epoch in their packaging. Guess what? That's what they do and
why they have that tool at their disposal.
b) from git. Not a problem. "git pull ; pip install -U ." will work no
matter what the version number is"
c) from locally built distro packages. If they're also following
upstream packaging, no problem. If they're doing their own thing, then
they get to add an epoch line.
d) in docker containers. Not a problem. Build a new container.
e) in venvs. Not a problem. Build a new venv.
f) from locally built packages that are created programatically and have
decided to base their versioning on a direct translation of the python
version string that also publish into a local distro package repository
from which deployments are run. Ok. Fair - this one will hurt. However,
I believe the sum-total of the list of that is "anvil" - so I'm pretty
sure that adding a quick "if version == blah" into the anvil code would
So when I say it's not an actual problem, but instead a pedantic
theoretical problem - this is what I mean. There are no real instances
where this is anything other than bikeshedding over the "right" way to
Are there a few people who this will annoy? TOTALLY. Am I sorry about
Do I think that we should introduce an epoch into our upstream version
numbering even though it will help close to zero people? Nope. I do not.
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