Why should we make this change? What value does it add?
I didn't make this change during the merge because
clients using Distribute 0.6 may still depend on this functionality (under the old name).
clients using Setuptools 0.6 will not depend on this functionality.
Furthermore, since we've already released 0.7 with the DISTRIBUTE name and we're following semantic versioning, we should keep compatibility through the 0.x series.
I'd be more inclined to just remove support for the variable altogether. Do we know who uses this feature and why?
If we do want to keep the feature, but rename it to use the SETUPTOOLS name, it should at least additionally fall back to the DISTRIBUTE name until a 1.x version increment, and then indicate to clients what changes they must make to account for the change.
I'm going to back out this change so I can make an 0.7.3 release, but let's continue the discussion here (or file a ticket to continue the discussion there).
Thanks for this. I do apologize for the rapid revert. I did want to get a release out and couldn't be sure how long an inquiry might take so I decided to go the expedient route. Please know that I very much value all of your help and insight on this project and that the revert was meant in no way as a personal criticism, but a practical compromise. I value your work and will take care in the future to avoid those situations.
In that vein, I've been considering an IRC channel for real-time collaboration. I see now there's a #pypa on freenode. I'll plan to be there.