[Catalog-sig] Package comments

René Dudfield renesd at gmail.com
Wed Nov 4 12:01:11 CET 2009

On Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 9:55 AM, M.-A. Lemburg <mal at egenix.com> wrote:
> Regarding the usefulness of such a feature, take the PIL package
> as example:
> http://pypi.python.org/pypi/PIL/1.1.6
> """
>  Package rating (3 votes): 4.66666666667
>    * 4 points: 1 vote
>    * 5 points: 2 votes
> Ratings range from 0 to 5 (best).
> Package Comments:
>    * Hugely stable, been around forever, and works. Unfortunate distribution naming causes problems
> with setuptools. (chrisw, 2009-10-05, points)
>    * super cool lib - #1 pick! just sad to see the packaging difficulties. (jensens, 2009-10-05,
> points)
> """
> Those comments are not really all that useful for a user,
> since they put too much emphasis on a non-package related issue.
> This is like saying: "Great bag, but doesn't come in pink, so
> only 4 points.". An educated user will notice, a casual user
> will just see the negative vibes and not bother with PIL,
> since it "causes problems" - now *that* is sad.


I do see how they could be perceived as not being good comments.
However I see them differently, as being useful...  Those comments are
both positive, and friendly... but are also offering constructive
critisism.  They give an overall good impression of PIL(that it

They both mention a common problem people have with PIL/Image/python
imaging.  I've had this problem myself, and I've helped people with
this problem over the years.  It's great feedback for the authors of
PIL in my opinion, and is a win for the comments on pypi.  If the
authors decide to fix the problems mentioned, then it's a win for
users of PIL too.

People with commercial packages on there would be right to not like
comments in some respects.  Since commercial organisations often like
to control their PR as much as possible.  So in this way, the comments
are not such a good thing for PIL.  However also, commercial
organisations pay a lot for feedback, QA and market research... so in
a way it is also good for commercial packages too.

The python community likes openness I would say, and comments go
towards more openness.  Comments move the communication on pypi from
entirely author based, towards letting users speak as well.  Should
openness be valued more than valuing an authors wishes?

Packages can already remove themselves from pypi if they don't like
it.  However, as someone said before, being able to disable certain
features would still let them use the features they want.


More information about the Catalog-SIG mailing list