[Catalog-sig] How to get a list of package releases

Michał Kwiatkowski constant.beta at gmail.com
Mon Jan 22 17:15:26 CET 2007

On 1/22/07, Phillip J. Eby <pje at telecommunity.com> wrote:
> At 02:12 AM 1/20/2007 +0100, =?ISO-8859-2?Q?Micha=B3_Kwiatkowski?= wrote:
> >The problem as I see it is that
> >although easy_install can find all possible versions they are not
> >listed on PyPI.
> I'm confused.  easy_install can only find versions that are listed on
> PyPI.  If there is a download link or homepage link on PyPI that points
> to a page with lots of downloadable versions, easy_install can discover
> them from there, but that's not something you're going to get through any

Setuptools is too smart. ;) The question I'm trying to get an answer
for is: "what versions of foobar can I install?". Going to
http://python.org/pypi/foobar doesn't yield me any useful results - it
just shows the latest release. It's not so uncommon for projects to
have more than one official release - even as simple as development
and stable branches. They can be installed via easy_install and
setuptools is great at finding out the download locations, but there's
no easy way to see what options are available from a PyPI project
page. For starters, there is no "list all releases" page, and that's
what my mail is mainly about.

But I also have another doubt, related to this discussion. Should PyPI
be treated more as a proxy or a repository? If it's a proxy, it's
perfectly OK to just point people to relevant sites, when they can
learn their installation options on their own. On the other hand, PyPI
is a part of setuptools chain, which is a base of Python package
distribution, and that means it simply cannot be treated as a plain

Ambiguity may come from the fact that, opposed to its name, PyPI isn't
a simple index of packages. It is also an infrastructure that makes
distribution of Python packages easy. PyPI isn't only about indexing
packages, but also about making them publicly available for vast
community of Python developers. I understand that to encourage
developers to list their packages on PyPI some compromises had to be
made. Smart functionality built in into setuptools make a transition
as simple as putting a link to project homepage into PyPI package
info. Question is how long this transitional state should be kept?
Currently we have a lot more logic in the client (easy_install) than
in the server (PyPI). So now we have this strange situation when an
installation client knows more about a package than the packages
server. Shouldn't we constantly move toward removing magic from
setuptools and porting important bits to PyPI?


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