need help resolving python-setuptools backport fail

Walter Lapchynski wxl at
Thu Nov 30 17:25:11 UTC 2017

I'm currently trying to backport offlineimap from zesty to trusty. This
may be a bit ambitious given the python depends, but I'm taking it as a
good learning experience. I've been working my way up the depends tree
with `backportpackage` with great luck, at least up until I ran into
python-setuptools. Looking at the [sbuild output][1], it seems that all
the right depends (including several main python packages, including 2.7
and 3) are pulled in. 

Looking on GitHub (and apparently ignoring the dates because they seem
to be at conflict; perhaps a data transfer issue), it looks like the
string "Cannot build setuptools without metadata. Run" is
certainly in the [version][2] I'm trying to build. This supposedly
fixes an [issue][3] when building in a clean environment from a repo
checkout. Considering the watch file points at PyPi rather than GitHub,
I'm going to assume that latter detail is not applicable. It does seem
like we're using the sdist. But yet, the same behavior.

So perhaps bootstrapping is something that must be done first? I'm
hoping one of you with experience packaging setuptools may be able to
help. Otherwise I'll go try barking up the maintainer's tree.

Thanks in advance,

       @wxl |
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