[Catalog-sig] What is the point of pythonpackages.com?
faassen at startifact.com
Tue Feb 7 02:17:57 CET 2012
On 02/06/2012 10:58 PM, Terry Reedy wrote:
[snip stuff about what people ought to do or be left free not to do. I
think this list has too many discussions on morality]
> If I remember correctly, the Cheeseshop/PyPI was originally *just* an
I remember endless "Python needs a CPAN" discussions way back when, with
people saying they think Python's great but CPAN is what makes Perl
awesome. So I think that package hosting was always also on people's minds.
It had trouble getting off the ground as the task seemed daunting, so
some very clever people decided to work on distutils and metadata first
and then indexing metadata, then uploading packages, then automatic
download facilities, etc, going for a CPAN-style network step by step,
where different steps could be accomplished by a different set of people
PEP 301 gives some historical background about the thinking in the
rationale, which I suspect wasn't updated a lot since first publication
so hopefully reflects the actual thinking of the time. It confirms that
*this* particular step deliberately didn't think about repository
functionality yet but it's also clear it's on people's minds as well as
a future step:
Already in 2001 PEP 241 was mentioning the sdist command, so that has
been around for a while.
'sdist upload' and repository functionality was added in Python 2.5, so
But setuptools was also around at that time and was also supporting the
'upload' command, including for python 2.3. Ah, I see a checkin here
that seems to indicate it was added in the summer of 2005, in version 0.5a7:
so repository support in PyPI must be at least as old as 2005.
A few years ago I wrote a history about this stuff:
Anyway, whatever the original purpose was, it's less relevant today, as
it's more interesting what the purpose to authors and users the system
has today. But I just like puzzling together the history so that's why
the little side trip.
> The hosting-repository service was added later -- as a
> convenience firstly to authors. I now believe that the repository should
> have been and should be kept separate, as the Python Package Repository
> -- PyPaR. Then repository issues would be clearly separate from index
Point taken about the separation of concerns.
Anyway, if that had happened, I think you would get people recommending
that people put stuff both in the index and in the repository for the
convenience of the users. And authors might want an integrated UI to
manage things too. :)
I suspect in this alternate timeline it would've been easier to get
people behind the notion of package hosting by a repository if it were
construed as a *cache* of releases that are listed in the index. People
might feel different about the situation in such a case.
More information about the Catalog-SIG