[Distutils] Python people want CPAN and how the latter came about

Lennart Regebro regebro at gmail.com
Wed Dec 23 22:33:49 CET 2009

On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 20:24, Sridhar Ratnakumar
<sridharr at activestate.com> wrote:
> The reason why PyPI does not have such third-party services - I think - is
> that it lacks the CPAN like simple directory structure that can be easily
> mirrored using ftp/rsync, to wit:

Nah, you can do that via /packages/, there is also an API to get the
metadata for a package. I think in general it's not an API problem.

I think it's partly a problem that nobody has thunk the thought. I
think the idea of a site with automatically generated documentation
for *every* package is interesting. But I don't have time to work on
that right now. Talk to me again in six months, then I might have time
for another free-time project. :)

> 1/ Missing packages (eg: Twisted is not there)

The Twisted guys do not upload their packages to PyPI. I think that's
a mistake, but it's hardly PyPI's fault. There is no law saying you
have to use CPAN either.

> 2/ No metadata: When only source tarballs are stored
> [pypi.python.org/packages/source/P/Pylons/], what is the reliable way to a)
> get the source for latest version

Download it from the above location.

> b) get the source for a particular

Download it from the above location.

> version? In CPAN [cpan.org/modules/by-module/AppConfig/ABW/], each tarball
> has a .meta file describing the module metadata (similar to PKG-INFO).


This is not a problem about missing API or functionality, but that you
don't know about it. In the last case that link exists at the bottom
of every package page. And you see how it works.

> don't want XmlRpc, but just files/directories (note simplicity in Steffen's
> post).

It's not XML-RPC because the metadata file is in XML-format.

But yes, you can't duplicate both the files and the metadata in one
go, you have to do it separately. But that then begs the question: How
often do you need to do both?

Lennart Regebro: Python, Zope, Plone, Grok
+33 661 58 14 64

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