Here are quick wrapup on what has been said during the packaging session in the language summit that is happening today at Pycon.
The four major points are:
1. The implementation of the accepted PEPs that have been done lately will not happen in Distutils but in a new package in the Distribute project (so logically in a "distribute" package). This resolves backward compatibility issues: new features will be under the "distribute" namespace. 2. Distribute will stay a third-party package and will be integrated in the standard library once it has enough support and feedback from the community. So this could happen in 3.3 (or 2.8 ;) ). Some part that are useful for the existing distutils package might be added in the stdlib today. But the idea is to stop adding features in distutils and focus on distribute. 3. The Hitchhicker's guide to packaging is going to be moved into the Python repository, so it becomes part of docs.python.org. It's not finished yet but it'll grow there. 4. Ian threw the idea to have virtualenv as a core feature, but he's not sure how yet. Some brainstroming on this should happen during Pycon.