pyproject.toml edge cases#

We found some edge cases and surprising behavior with pyproject.toml.

Default pyproject.toml#

When creating a new site with progfiguration newsite ..., it creates a pyproject.toml for you that looks like the following. (Substitute a site name like mysite for {$}name, and some reasonable description like the site for {$}descriptiono.)

# -*- mode: toml -*-

name = "{$}name"
dynamic = ["version"]
description = "{$}description"
readme = ""
requires-python = ">=3.10"
dependencies = []


# The main entry point is the CLI shim.
# By convention, this is named after the site.
"{$}name" = "{$}name.cli.progfigsite_shim:main"

# Sites may add other entry points here,
# however, it's worth noting that only the CLI shim is available from the zipapp package.
# Other entry points might be useful when installed as editable (perhaps in dev or CI environments),
# but scripts meant to be installed to nodes in the inventory
# should probably be installed as templates in a role.


# Development dependencies include all other extras
# Sites can customize this section for their own needs.
development = [
    # Progfiguration itself

    # Packaging tools

    # IDE support, linters, formatters

# Packaging dependencies
# Sites can delete this section if they aren't using it in CI.
# The packaging extra is used in testing for progfiguration core.
# Keep the list small to avoid long testing times.
packaging = [

requires = [
build-backend = "setuptools.build_meta"

version = {attr = "{$}name.get_version"}

# Package data includes common files like inventory.conf and JSON secrets files.
# Roles also often include data files like templates and static assets.
# We do not build a or use setuptools_scm,
# so we need to explicitly include them here.
"{$}name" = ["*"]

Dynamic version#

We use

version = {attr = "SITENAME.get_version"}

This looks in the root module for a function called get_version(). It runs that function

  1. when installing as editable via pip install -e '.', or

  2. when building the package with python -m build ... (which is used under the hood when running progfiguration build ...).

It finds this function inside the SITENAME package, which means we must talk about package discovery.

Discoveries about package discovery#

tl;dr: use src-layout and everything will work easily.

src-layout is the path of least resistance when using pip editable installs and package builds with setuptools.

├── pyproject.toml
├── ...
└── src/
    └── SITENAME/
        ├── ...

With this layout, setuptools will find the SITENAME package automatically, and will include all non-Python data files like inventory.conf (so-called “package data”) via our [tool.setuptools.package-data] section.

Problems using flat layout#

Flat layout is similar to src-layout, but without the “src” directory.

├── pyproject.toml
├── ...
    ├── ...

We ran into problems with flat layout and do not recommend it for progfigsite packages. Here are some very rough notes.

  • We had to provide a [tool.setuptools.packages.find] section in pyproject.toml.

  • When we did where = ["."] in that section, it seemed to work, but when trying to retrieve the version, it couldn’t find the SITENAME module (ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'SITENAME').

  • We had to do where = ["SITENAME"] to get it to find the SITENAME module.

  • We also had trouble with package data, where non-Python files like secrets JSON files or inventory.conf files would not get included in packages built by setuptools. In the [tool.setuptools.package-data] section, we tried both SITENAME = ["*"] and "*" = ["*"] with no success.