[Catalog-sig] What can I do?

Sean Reifschneider jafo@tummy.com
Mon, 8 Jul 2002 00:03:35 -0600

>I'd really like to see PEP 243 come to something. What can I do to make it 
>happen? I can offer my programming time, and a test server. I can also 

Unfortunately, there IS no technological solution to this problem.  We have
programming talent, in fact my "swalow" code was a working system, I have a
server here which we can run swalow or Ciphon's code on -- Suchandra
even has a login on it and an FTP directory to play around in.

The problem is one of gaining critical mass.  There are a few reasons for
this, I think.  AMK seemed to indicate he lost interest in the catalog
efforts because Debian has packages for all the stuff he needs.  I was also
having trouble finding someone in the Debian camp to get interested in
making Distutils inter-operate with Debian packages -- the opinion I've
gotten was that unless a Debian package came from a human maintainer,
Debian folks didn't want it around.

I thought that making a distutils command-line switch which automatically
uploaded packages to the repository would help gain that critical mass.  It
never made it into the Distutils base-line.  There's been some recent
discussion of putting it in place, but I haven't had the time to get back
in to Distutils to make it happen.

I think it boils down to this:  What we have is "good enough".  The
standard Python library is pretty rich, and many distributions include the
more important packages.  So, the need for having it isn't a "pressing
issue".  Most of the good stuff is readily available.

> 1. module namespace. PAUSE has facility for authors to register namespaces to 
>avoid clashes.

Yes, this definitely hasn't been addressed.  Nor has the ability to deal
with maintainers.  I think some sort of signature system is going to have
to be in place so that package owners can upload packages, and builders can
build binaries off of it, but trying to prevent forged copies of things
from getting out.

> 2. auto-install. Ciphon has done work on this and looks good.

I haven't really looked at Ciphon.  I presume it can install RPMs on RPM
systems, which still leaves Debian out in the cold.  I'm quite sure, after
my experience with CPAN, that integrating with the local package system is

PEP243 was actually written after I demonstrated my Swalow code at Python
9, and based on the discussion at the Catalog-SIG discussion at the
conference.  So, it was actually meant to be some of the back-end to make
the auto-install of Swalow happen.

So, how would you make this happen?

 You know you're in Canada when:  The weather reports starts with "All
 temperatures are degrees below zero unless otherwise stated."
Sean Reifschneider, Inimitably Superfluous <jafo@tummy.com>
tummy.com - Linux Consulting since 1995. Qmail, KRUD, Firewalls, Python