Distutils : improved .pypirc for Python 2.7 and 3.1

When you launch such a command:
$ python setup.py register sdist upload

There's no way to give to Distutils your PyPI password in the prompt, so you distribution is uploaded to the server. You have to store your password in the .pypirc file:
[distutils]

    index-servers =

        pypi



    [pypi]

    username: <username>

    password: <password>

The password is stored in clear text, so it can be used by Distutils to authenticate. This is rather unsecure, since anyone who has a read access to your home can get your password.

I have detected this problem this summer while listing the possible enhancements in Distutils. Nathan Van Gheem sent me a mail a month ago to ask for that same feature in collective.dist; which is a port of the latest Distutils features into Python 2.4 so Zope can use them. So before having it into collective.dist, the first step was to introduce it into Python itself.

The idea is to be able to remove from .pypirc the password so it's asked at the prompt. Nothing fancy here : the Distribution object that is created before you launch any command is the place where you can share a context between commands.

So when you launch:
$ python setup.py register sdist upload

Here's what is happening:
1. register looks into .pypirc, if no password is found, it asks it to the user using getpass 2. register use it then store it in the Distribution instance 3. upload look into the Distribution instance to see if the password was stored, and use it

This is now available in Python 2.7 and 3.1, and heavily tested.

I'd like to go further and to think about a ssh-agent like system, so there's no need to enter the pasword everytime you work with PyPI in the same session.

Does anyone knows what would be the way to do it properly ? I think a ssh-agent like mechanism in Python's getpass would be a great feature itself.

Comments !