[Catalog-sig] [Distutils] PyPI - Evolve our own or reuse existing package systems?

Bjørn Stabell bjorn at exoweb.net
Thu Aug 16 10:28:12 CEST 2007

On Aug 15, 2007, at 21:34, Arve Knudsen wrote:
> These are some interesting points you are making. I have in fact  
> been developing a general software deployment system, Conduit, in  
> Python for some time, that is capable of supporting several major  
> platforms (at the moment: Linux, Windows and OS X). It's not  
> reached any widespread use, but we (at the Simula Research  
> Laboratory) are using it to distribute  software to students  
> attending some courses at the university of Oslo. Right now we are  
> in the middle of preparing for the semester start, which is next week.
> The system is designed to be general, both with regard to the  
> target platform and the deployable software. I've solved the  
> distribution problem by constructing an XML-RPC Web service, that  
> serves information about software projects in RDF (based on the  
> DOAP format). This distribution service is general and independent  
> of the installation system, which acts as a client of the latter.
> If this sounds interesting to you I'd love if you checked it out  
> and gave me some feedback. It is an experimental project, and as  
> such we are definitely interested in ideas/help from others.

Hi Arve,

That's an interesting coincidence! :)

Without turning it into a big research project, it would be  
interesting to hear what you (honestly) thought were the strengths  
and weaknesses of Conduit compared to, say, deb/rpm/ports/emerge,  
whichever you have experience with.  I did download and look at  
Conduit, but haven't tried it yet.

There are so many ways to take this, and so many "strategic"  
decisions that I'd hope people on the list could help out with.

Personally I think it would be great if we had a strong Python-based  
central package system, perhaps based on Conduit.  I'm pretty sure  
Conduit would have to have the client and server-side components even  
more clearly separated, though, and the interface between them open  
and clearly defined (which I think it is, but it would have to be  

I see Conduit (and PyPI) supports DOAP, and looking around I also  
found http://python.codezoo.com/ by O'Reilly; it also seems to have a  
few good ideas, for example voting and some quality control (although  
that's a very difficult decision, I guess).


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