[Distutils] [Catalog-sig] Specification for package indexes?

Jim Fulton jim at zope.com
Fri Jul 7 12:55:44 CEST 2006

I'd like to suggest that we take a step back.  It feels as though we  
are reacting rather than designing.

I think we have the following goals:

1. setuptools should be able to read indexes robustly and efficiently.

2. It should be straightforward, and preferably *easy* for people to  
implement their  own indexes.  This is very important to me. :)


3. It should be easy to mirror an index

4. It should be possible to create a read index as a static HTTP server.

And I suggest:

5. It should be possible to provide an end-user experience for an  
index  without affecting the setuptools interface

4. It should be possible to write other setuptools-like applications  
for  accessing indexes.  This means that the web-service (small w-s)  
should   be well defined and/or that setuptools should expose a  
Python API   for accessing indexes.

 From a design perspective:

a. screen scraping is bad

b. the web API should be simple and well defined.

I suggest, as others have suggested, that we create an *alternate*  
web API for reading an index focussed on cleanliness and on making  
the API as easy as possible to implement for both index and client  
developers.  If we agree with all of the goals stated above, I think  
this should be static HTTP interface using XHTML or some other XML  
dialect.   Perhaps we could even use specific HTML class attrs to  
make it possible to combine the pypi and user interfaces if an index  
implementor desires.



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