I wrote a brief article on creating a Python Egg a few weeks ago. While the egg isn’t used as much as it was, the wheel is now the preferred packaging format. I will show you how to create a wheel and its brief history in this article.
Python Wheel is a packaging format used to distribute Python packages and modules. It is an improvement over the earlier packaging format called “Python Egg.” A wheel is a ZIP-format archive with a filename extension, “.whl,” containing all the files needed to install a Python module.
A Brief History of Python Wheel
Python has several packaging formats for distributing Python packages, including source, binary, and egg distribution. Eggs were a popular packaging format in the Python community for several years. However, they had several shortcomings, including performance, limited platform support, and compatibility issues.
In 2012, PEP 427 proposed the wheel packaging format as an egg alternative. The primary goal of this proposal was to provide a more efficient way to distribute Python packages and improve platform compatibility.
Since then, the Python community has widely adopted the wheel packaging format. It has become the preferred format for distributing Python packages, replacing eggs.
Advantages of Python Wheel over Python Egg
Python Wheel has several advantages over Python Egg, including:
Python Wheel installs much faster than eggs because it does not require extracting files from the archive, and this is because the wheel contains pre-compiled code that can be installed directly on a user’s system.
Improved Platform Compatibility
Python Wheel has improved platform compatibility. It can contain platform-specific files installed directly on the user’s system, eliminating the need for compilation.
Python Wheel simplifies the distribution of Python packages. It contains all the files needed to install a Python module, including its dependencies, metadata, and compiled code, making it easy to distribute and install packages.
How to Create a Python Wheel
Creating a Python Wheel is a straightforward process that involves the following steps:
Step 1: Create a setup.py File
The setup.py file is a Python script that contains the package’s metadata, dependencies, and build instructions. It is used to create a Python Wheel.
Here is an example of a simple setup.py file:
from setuptools import setup, find_packages
This file defines a package named “mypackage” that depends on the “numpy” and “pandas” packages.
Step 2: Build the Wheel
To build the wheel, use the bdist_wheel command provided by setuptools. The bdist_wheel command will create a binary distribution of the package that can be installed on any system.
To build the wheel, run the following command in the terminal:
python setup.py bdist_wheel
This command will create a wheel file with the following naming convention:
The filename contains the package name, version number, Python version, and platform information.
Step 3: Distribute the Wheel
Once you have built the wheel, it can be distributed to users or uploaded to a repository for others to install. To install the wheel, users can run the following command:
pip install mypackage-0.1-py3-none-any.whl
Python Wheel is a packaging format used to distribute Python packages and modules. It has several advantages over the earlier packaging format called “Python Egg.” Python Wheel is faster to install, improves platform compatibility, and simplifies the distribution of Python packages.
Creating a Python Wheel is a simple process that involves creating a setup.py file, building the wheel, and distributing it to users. Using a Python Wheel, you can distribute your Python packages more efficiently and provide a better experience for users installing your packages. So, if you are a Python developer and want to distribute your packages to the Python community, you should consider using Python Wheel as your packaging format.
In summary, Python Wheel is an improvement over the earlier packaging format called Python Egg. It provides faster installation, improved platform compatibility, and simplified distribution of Python packages. Creating a Python Wheel is a simple process that involves creating a setup.py file, building the wheel, and distributing it to users. As a Python developer, you should consider using Python Wheel to distribute your packages and provide a better experience for users installing your packages.