poetry_fix.py - Work around Poetry bugs

This script contains workarounds for Poetry design decisions and bugs:

  1. Poetry doesn’t support either/or dependencies, but this project needs them. Specifically, we want to install either the released, PyPI-published version of the RunestoneComponents and the BookServer, or the development version of these projects which are cloned to the local filesystem. The RunestoneServer pyproject.toml file therefore contains (with all other dependencies removed for clarity):

    bookserver = "^1.0.0"
    runestone = "^6.1.0"
    bookserver = { path = "../BookServer", develop = true }
    runestone = { path = "../RunestoneComponents", develop = true }

    This breaks Poetry, since it looks for BOTH dependencies during dependency resolution. To work around this, rename_pyproject changes this to:

    bookserver = "^1.0.0"
    runestone = "^6.1.0"
    [tool.no-poetry.dev-dependencies]   # <== CHANGED!
    bookserver = { path = "../BookServer", develop = true }
    runestone = { path = "../RunestoneComponents", develop = true }

    …in production mode; it does the opposite (changes [tool.poetry.dependencies] to [tool.no-poetry.dependencies]) in development mode. This hides the modified section from Poetry, so the file now looks like an either/or project.

  2. Poetry doesn’t install development dependencies in projects included through a path dependency. As a workaround, this script copies development dependencies from a project into an otherwise empty, auto-created “project”, but puts them in the production dependencies section of this newly-created “project”, so they will be installed. For example, the BookServer pyproject.toml contains:

    black = "~= 22.0"
    console-ctrl = "^0.1.0"
    ...many more, which are omitted for clarity...

    Poetry won’t install these. Therefore, make_dev_pyproject creates a “project” named bookserver-dev whose pyproject.toml contains a copy of the BookServer development dependencies, but placed in the production dependencies section of this bookserver-dev “project”, so they will be installed. For example, the bookserver-dev pyproject.toml contains:

    [tool.poetry.dependencies]   # <== CHANGED!
    black = "~= 22.0"
    console-ctrl = "^0.1.0"
    ...many more, which are omitted for clarity...

    This also means that the RunestoneServer pyproject.toml file must be manually edited to include a reference to this “project”:

    bookserver = { path = "../BookServer", develop = true }
    bookserver-dev = { path = "../bookserver-dev", develop = true }  # <== MANUALLY ADDED!

    The final result looks like this:

  3. Poetry generates invalid package metadata for local path dependencies, so that running pip show click results in a bunch of exceptions. This program doesn’t provide a fix for this bug.

…and that’s how using Poetry makes dependency management easier…

Invalid package METADATA

Per the issue linked in the title above, Poetry generates invalid package metadata for local path dependencies (tested on Poetry v1.1.14). For example, the last few lines of .venv/lib/python3.8/site-packages/runestone_poetry_project-0.1.0.dist-info/METADATA contain:

Requires-Dist: pytz (>=2016.6.1)
Requires-Dist: requests (>=2.10.0)
Requires-Dist: rsmanage @ rsmanage
Requires-Dist: runestone
Requires-Dist: runestone-docker-tools @ docker
Requires-Dist: six (>=1.10.0)
Requires-Dist: sphinxcontrib-paverutils (>=1.17)
Requires-Dist: stripe (>=2.0.0,<3.0.0)

This causes an exception when running a command such as pip show click:

ERROR: Exception:
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/srv/web2py/applications/runestone/.venv/lib/python3.8/site-packages/pip/_vendor/pkg_resources/__init__.py", line 3021, in _dep_map
    return self.__dep_map
  File "/srv/web2py/applications/runestone/.venv/lib/python3.8/site-packages/pip/_vendor/pkg_resources/__init__.py", line 2815, in __getattr__
    raise AttributeError(attr)
AttributeError: _DistInfoDistribution__dep_map

… along with a long traceback of other chained exceptions.

Fixing the METADATA file to be:

Requires-Dist: pytz (>=2016.6.1)
Requires-Dist: requests (>=2.10.0)
Requires-Dist: rsmanage @ file://rsmanage
Requires-Dist: runestone
Requires-Dist: runestone-docker-tools @ file://docker
Requires-Dist: six (>=1.10.0)
Requires-Dist: sphinxcontrib-paverutils (>=1.17)
Requires-Dist: stripe (>=2.0.0,<3.0.0)

… along with a similar fix to the METADATA for bookserver_dev allows pip to run successfully.


  • Make this a poetry plugin, so it would auto-update this on any changes to the project’s pyproject.toml. It looks like plugins aren’t supported until v1.2.0, though.


These are listed in the order prescribed by PEP 8.

Standard library

from pathlib import Path
import sys
from typing import Any, Dict, Set

Third-party imports

import click
import toml

Local application imports


Fix for dev-dependencies in subprojects

Given a main Poetry pyproject.toml, these functions look for all subprojects included via path dependencies, creating additional subprojects named projectname-dev in which the subproject’s dev-dependencies become dependencies in the newly-created subproject. This is a workaround for Poetry’s inability to install the dev dependencies for a sub project included via a path requirement. To use this, in the main project, do something like:

2sub = { path = "../sub", develop = true }
3sub-dev = { path = "../sub-dev", develop = true }

Create a project clone where the original project’s dev-dependencies are dependencies in the clone.

def create_dev_dependencies(

The path to the project.

    project_path: Path,
) -> None:

Create a dev-only flavor.

    d = toml.load(project_path / "pyproject.toml")
    tp = d["tool"]["poetry"]
    dd = "dev-dependencies"

If there are no dev-dependencies, there’s nothing to do. Otherwise, move them to dependencies.

    if dd not in tp:
    tp["dependencies"] = tp.pop(dd)

Update the project name.

    project_name = tp["name"] = tp["name"] + "-dev"

We don’t have a readme – if it exists, Poetry will complain about the missing file it references. Remove it if it exists.

    tp.pop("readme", None)

Put the output in a project_name-dev/ directory.

    dev = project_path.parent / project_name
    print(f"Creating {dev}...")
    (dev / "pyproject.toml").write_text(toml.dumps(d))

Create a minimal project to make Poetry happy.

    project_name = project_name.replace("-", "_")
    p = dev / project_name
    (p / "__init__.py").write_text("")

def walk_dependencies(

A dict of Poetry-specific values.

    poetry_dict: Dict[str, Any],

True to look at dependencies; False to look at dev-dependencies.

    is_deps: bool,

See project_path.

    project_path: Path,

See walked_paths_set.

    walked_paths_set: Set[Path],

See poetry_paths_set.

    poetry_paths_set: Set[Path],
    key = "dependencies" if is_deps else "dev-dependencies"
    for dep in poetry_dict.get(key, {}).values():
        pth = dep.get("path", "") if isinstance(dep, dict) else None
        if pth:
            walk_pyproject(project_path / pth, walked_paths_set, poetry_paths_set)

Given a pyproject.toml, optionally create a dev dependencies project and walk all requirements with path dependencies.

def walk_pyproject(

The path where a pyproject.toml exists.

    project_path: Path,

walked_paths_set: a set of Paths already walked.

    walked_paths_set: Set[Path],

poetry_paths_set: a set of Paths that contained a Poetry project. This is a strict subset of walked_paths_set.

    poetry_paths_set: Set[Path],

True if this is the root pyproject.toml file – no dev dependencies will be created for it.

    is_root: bool = False,
    project_path = project_path.resolve()

Avoid cycles and unnecessary work.

    if project_path in walked_paths_set:
    print(f"Examining {project_path} ...")

Process dependencies, if this is a Poetry project.

        d = toml.load(project_path / "pyproject.toml")
    except FileNotFoundError:
    tp = d["tool"]["poetry"]

Search both the dependencies and dev dependencies in this project for path dependencies.

    walk_dependencies(tp, True, project_path, walked_paths_set, poetry_paths_set)
    walk_dependencies(tp, False, project_path, walked_paths_set, poetry_paths_set)

(Usually) process this file.

    if not is_root:

Core function: run the whole process on the pyproject.toml in the current directory.

def make_dev_pyproject():
    project_paths_set = set()
    walk_pyproject(Path("."), set(), project_paths_set, True)

Check that we processed the BookServer and the RunestoneComponents.

    found_bookserver = False
    found_runestone_components = False
    for path in project_paths_set:
        name = path.name
        found_bookserver |= name == "BookServer"
        found_runestone_components |= name == "RunestoneComponents"
    if not found_bookserver:
        sys.exit("Error: did not process the BookServer Poetry project.")
    if not found_runestone_components:
        sys.exit("Error: did not process the RunestoneComponents Poetry project.")

Workaround for the main pyproject.toml

This function updates the pyproject.toml in the current directory by switching between a section named [tool.poetry.dev-dependencies] when in development mode or [tool.no-poetry.dev-dependencies] when not in development mode. This is because Poetry does not support either/or dependencies: either resolve dependency x in dev mode, or dependency y when not in dev mode. Instead, it takes a both/and approach: during its dependency resolution phase, it resolves ALL dependencies, then installs a subset (such all non-dev dependencies, or dev and non-dev dependencies). Quoting from the manual:

All dependencies must be compatible with each other across groups since they will be resolved regardless of whether they are required for installation or not (see Installing group dependencies).

Think of dependency groups as labels associated with your dependencies: they don’t have any bearings on whether their dependencies will be resolved and installed by default, they are simply a way to organize the dependencies logically.

Therefore, path based dev-dependencies break ‘install –no-dev’ when the directory does not exist. In addition, if a dependency exists both in the [tool.poetry.dependencies] and the same dependency with a path in [tool.poetry.dev-dependencies] sections, this version of Poetry will place the path in the resulting poetry.lock file even when the --no-dev option is passed, causing Poetry to install the dev version or fail if it’s not available.

As a workaround, this function renames the [tool.poetry.dependencies] section, effectively hiding it, for --no-dev option, and un-hides it otherwise. It then deletes poetry.lock if it makes a change, ensuring that poetry will the run poetry update with these changed dependencies.

def rewrite_pyproject(is_dev: bool) -> None:

Determine the current mode by setting has_dev.

    pyproject = Path("pyproject.toml")
    pp_text = pyproject.read_text()
    dev_section = "\n[tool.poetry.dev-dependencies]\n"
    no_dev_section = "\n[tool.no-poetry.dev-dependencies]\n"
    if dev_section in pp_text:
        has_dev = True
    elif no_dev_section in pp_text:
        has_dev = False
            f"Error: there is no [tool.(no-)poetry.dev-dependencies] section in {pyproject.resolve()}."

Update accordingly.

    if is_dev and not has_dev:
        pp_text = pp_text.replace(no_dev_section, dev_section)
    elif not is_dev and has_dev:
        pp_text = pp_text.replace(dev_section, no_dev_section)

No update needed. We’re done.


Ideally, we’d run poetry update here. However, we’re blocked from doing so by circular dependencies:

  1. In a clean install, the command poetry config virtualenvs.in-project true has not executed yet.

  2. Running this command will first check the dependencies in the existing poetry.lock file and report that directories such as ../BookServer don’t exist. (Why does Poetry do this?)

  3. To update poetry.lock, we can run poetry update.

  4. But poetry update will update the wrong venv, since poetry config virtualenvs.in-project true hasn’t run yet.

  5. Go to step 1.

So, just delete the lock file and let Poetry rebuild it; don’t complain if the file’s already been deleted.


CLI interface

    "--no-dev", is_flag=True, help="Prepare for running poetry install/update --no-dev."
def main(no_dev: bool):

This script works around Poetry bugs related to path dependencies.

    is_dev = not no_dev
    if is_dev:

if __name__ == "__main__":