Direct URL Data Structure#

This document specifies a JSON-serializable abstract data structure that can represent URLs to python projects and distribution artifacts such as VCS source trees, local source trees, source distributions and wheels.

At time of writing, it is not formally specified how to merge the parts of this data structure into a single URL that can be passed to tools. A common representation is the pip URL format (VCS Support), other examples are provided in the Version specifier specification.

Specification#

The Direct URL Data Structure MUST be a dictionary, serializable to JSON according to RFC 8259.

It MUST contain at least two fields. The first one is url, with type string. Its content must be a valid URL according to the WHATWG URL Standard.

Depending on what url refers to, the second field MUST be one of vcs_info (if url is a VCS reference), archive_info (if url is a source archive or a wheel), or dir_info (if url is a local directory). These info fields have a (possibly empty) subdictionary as value, with the possible keys defined below.

When persisted, url MUST be stripped of any sensitive authentication information, for security reasons.

The user:password section of the URL MAY however be composed of environment variables, matching the following regular expression:

\$\{[A-Za-z0-9-_]+\}(:\$\{[A-Za-z0-9-_]+\})?

Additionally, the user:password section of the URL MAY be a well-known, non security sensitive string. A typical example is git in the case of an URL such as ssh://git@gitlab.com/user/repo.

VCS URLs#

When url refers to a VCS repository, the vcs_info key MUST be present as a dictionary with the following keys:

  • A vcs key (type string) MUST be present, containing the name of the VCS (i.e. one of git, hg, bzr, svn). Other VCS’s SHOULD be registered by writing a PEP to amend this specification. The url value MUST be compatible with the corresponding VCS, so an installer can hand it off without transformation to a checkout/download command of the VCS.

  • A requested_revision key (type string) MAY be present naming a branch/tag/ref/commit/revision/etc (in a format compatible with the VCS).

  • A commit_id key (type string) MUST be present, containing the exact commit/revision number that was/is to be installed. If the VCS supports commit-hash based revision identifiers, such commit-hash MUST be used as commit_id in order to reference an immutable version of the source code.

Archive URLs#

When url refers to a source archive or a wheel, the archive_info key MUST be present as a dictionary with the following keys:

  • A hashes key SHOULD be present as a dictionary mapping a hash name to a hex encoded digest of the file.

    Multiple hashes can be included, and it is up to the consumer to decide what to do with multiple hashes (it may validate all of them or a subset of them, or nothing at all).

    These hash names SHOULD always be normalized to be lowercase.

    Any hash algorithm available via hashlib (specifically any that can be passed to hashlib.new() and do not require additional parameters) can be used as a key for the hashes dictionary. At least one secure algorithm from hashlib.algorithms_guaranteed SHOULD always be included. At time of writing, sha256 specifically is recommended.

  • A deprecated hash key (type string) MAY be present for backwards compatibility purposes, with value <hash-algorithm>=<expected-hash>.

Producers of the data structure SHOULD emit the hashes key whether one or multiple hashes are available. Producers SHOULD continue to emit the hash key in contexts where they did so before, so as to keep backwards compatibility for existing clients.

When both the hash and hashes keys are present, the hash represented in the hash key MUST also be present in the hashes dictionary, so consumers can consider the hashes key only if it is present, and fall back to hash otherwise.

Local directories#

When url refers to a local directory, the dir_info key MUST be present as a dictionary with the following key:

  • editable (type: boolean): true if the distribution was/is to be installed in editable mode, false otherwise. If absent, default to false.

When url refers to a local directory, it MUST have the file scheme and be compliant with RFC 8089. In particular, the path component must be absolute. Symbolic links SHOULD be preserved when making relative paths absolute.

Projects in subdirectories#

A top-level subdirectory field MAY be present containing a directory path, relative to the root of the VCS repository, source archive or local directory, to specify where pyproject.toml or setup.py is located.

Registered VCS#

This section lists the registered VCS’s; expanded, VCS-specific information on how to use the vcs, requested_revision, and other fields of vcs_info; and in some cases additional VCS-specific fields. Tools MAY support other VCS’s although it is RECOMMENDED to register them by writing a PEP to amend this specification. The vcs field SHOULD be the command name (lowercased). Additional fields that would be necessary to support such VCS SHOULD be prefixed with the VCS command name.

Git#

Home page

https://git-scm.com/

vcs command

git

vcs field

git

requested_revision field

A tag name, branch name, Git ref, commit hash, shortened commit hash, or other commit-ish.

commit_id field

A commit hash (40 hexadecimal characters sha1).

Note

Tools can use the git show-ref and git symbolic-ref commands to determine if the requested_revision corresponds to a Git ref. In turn, a ref beginning with refs/tags/ corresponds to a tag, and a ref beginning with refs/remotes/origin/ after cloning corresponds to a branch.

Mercurial#

Home page

https://www.mercurial-scm.org/

vcs command

hg

vcs field

hg

requested_revision field

A tag name, branch name, changeset ID, shortened changeset ID.

commit_id field

A changeset ID (40 hexadecimal characters).

Bazaar#

Home page

https://www.breezy-vcs.org/

vcs command

bzr

vcs field

bzr

requested_revision field

A tag name, branch name, revision id.

commit_id field

A revision id.

Subversion#

Home page

https://subversion.apache.org/

vcs command

svn

vcs field

svn

requested_revision field

requested_revision must be compatible with svn checkout --revision option. In Subversion, branch or tag is part of url.

commit_id field

Since Subversion does not support globally unique identifiers, this field is the Subversion revision number in the corresponding repository.

JSON Schema#

The following JSON Schema can be used to validate the contents of direct_url.json:

{
  "$schema": "https://json-schema.org/draft/2019-09/schema",
  "title": "Direct URL Data",
  "description": "Data structure that can represent URLs to python projects and distribution artifacts such as VCS source trees, local source trees, source distributions and wheels.",
  "definitions": {
    "URL": {
      "type": "string",
      "format": "uri"
    },
    "DirInfo": {
      "type": "object",
      "properties": {
        "editable": {
          "type": ["boolean", "null"]
        }
      }
    },
    "VCSInfo": {
      "type": "object",
      "properties": {
        "vcs": {
          "type": "string",
          "enum": [
            "git",
            "hg",
            "bzr",
            "svn"
          ]
        },
        "requested_revision": {
          "type": "string"
        },
        "commit_id": {
          "type": "string"
        },
        "resolved_revision": {
          "type": "string"
        }
      },
      "required": [
        "vcs",
        "commit_id"
      ]
    },
    "ArchiveInfo": {
      "type": "object",
      "properties": {
        "hash": {
          "type": "string",
          "pattern": "^\\w+=[a-f0-9]+$",
          "deprecated": true
        },
        "hashes": {
          "type": "object",
          "patternProperties": {
            "^[a-f0-9]+$": {
              "type": "string"
            }
          }
        }
      }
    }
  },
  "allOf": [
    {
      "type": "object",
      "properties": {
        "url": {
          "$ref": "#/definitions/URL"
        }
      },
      "required": [
        "url"
      ]
    },
    {
      "anyOf": [
        {
          "type": "object",
          "properties": {
            "dir_info": {
              "$ref": "#/definitions/DirInfo"
            }
          },
          "required": [
            "dir_info"
          ]
        },
        {
          "type": "object",
          "properties": {
            "vcs_info": {
              "$ref": "#/definitions/VCSInfo"
            }
          },
          "required": [
            "vcs_info"
          ]
        },
        {
          "type": "object",
          "properties": {
            "archive_info": {
              "$ref": "#/definitions/ArchiveInfo"
            }
          },
          "required": [
            "archive_info"
          ]
        }
      ]
    }
  ]
}

Examples#

Source archive:

{
    "url": "https://github.com/pypa/pip/archive/1.3.1.zip",
    "archive_info": {
        "hashes": {
            "sha256": "2dc6b5a470a1bde68946f263f1af1515a2574a150a30d6ce02c6ff742fcc0db8"
        }
    }
}

Git URL with tag and commit-hash:

{
    "url": "https://github.com/pypa/pip.git",
    "vcs_info": {
        "vcs": "git",
        "requested_revision": "1.3.1",
        "commit_id": "7921be1537eac1e97bc40179a57f0349c2aee67d"
    }
}

Local directory:

{
    "url": "file:///home/user/project",
    "dir_info": {}
}

Local directory in editable mode:

{
    "url": "file:///home/user/project",
    "dir_info": {
        "editable": true
    }
}

History#

  • March 2020: This specification was approved through PEP 610, defining the direct_url.json metadata file.

  • January 2023: Added the archive_info.hashes key (discussion).