[Catalog-sig] PyPI's external packages

Stefan Krah stefan-usenet at bytereef.org
Sat May 14 10:58:52 CEST 2011

Terry Reedy <tjreedy at udel.edu> wrote:
>> - in packaging/distutils2, when the register command is called, just
>> state that uploading the package would be a good idea  :)
> That is an opinion, not a fact. For some circumstances, it may not be a  
> good idea.

I've uploaded my first package about half a year ago, so perhaps the
following points might give some insight into the issues that new users
encounter as well as the decisions they have to make.

1) The terms and conditions: As Terry mentioned, the terms and conditions
   are not very clear. I understood the intent only after reading VanL's
   comments in an old thread. Many package authors come from a culture
   that rejects licenses that require interpretation by a lawyer. As a
   consequence, they upload as little as possible.

2) SEO, content farms: When I uploaded the latest version of cdecimal
   in January, I had a long description on PyPI. I used some of the
   same phrases on my own website. Since PyPI is a juicy target for
   content scrapers, the text was duplicated all over the web within

   Result: The original site http://www.bytereef.org/mpdecimal/index.html
   practically dropped from the Google index, while Softpedia etc. were
   doing fine. I waited a couple of weeks, then I removed the long
   description from PyPI. Within a couple of days the ranking of the
   original site was restored.

   [Note that the PyPI terms and conditions prevent me from going
    after content scrapers.]

   The point here is that content on PyPI can hurt the primary site.
   I don't know whether uploaded files contribute to this, but a
   package author might want to play it safe.

3) Control over download statistics: This one is obvious.

4) Primary site from the package user's point of view: If everything is
   on PyPI, users will start to regard PyPI as the primary site for a
   package (search engines already do). This might not be what a package
   author wants.

5) Other servers have good uptimes, too.

Stefan Krah

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