[Distutils] pip/warehouse feature idea: "help needed"

Ben Finney ben+python at benfinney.id.au
Tue Apr 14 02:57:20 CEST 2015

Nick Coghlan <ncoghlan at gmail.com> writes:

> On 11 Apr 2015 12:22, "Alexander Walters" <tritium-list at sdamon.com> wrote:
> > Is the package index really the best place to put this? This is a
> > very social-networking feature for the authoritative repository of
> > just about all the third party module, and it feels like either it
> > could corrupt the 'sanctity' of the repository (in the absolute
> > worst case)
> If you're concerned that this feature might weaken the comforting
> illusion that PyPI published software is contributed and maintained by
> faceless automatons rather than living, breathing human beings, then
> yes, encouraging folks to think more about where the software they use
> is coming from would be a large part of the point of adding such a
> feature.

I can't speak for Alexander, but I'm also −1 to have this *on PyPI*.

I'm all for such features existing. What is at issue is whether PyPI is
the place to put them.

We have been gradually improving the function of PyPI as an
authoritative *index* of packages; that's possible because it is a
repository of uncontroversial facts, not opinions (i.e. “what is the
packaging metadata of this distribution”, “where is its documentation”,
“where is its VCS”, etc.).

> > I am not saying the PSF shouldn't do this, but is pypi REALLY the
> > best part of python.org to put it?
> I personally believe so, yes - sustaining software over the long term is
> expensive in people's time, but it's often something we take for granted.
> The specific example Guido brought up in his keynote was the challenge of
> communicating a project's openness to Python 3 porting assistance.

The people doing the work of maintaining PyPI have said many times in
recent years that there just isn't enough person-power to add a whole
bunch of features that have been requested. Why would we think
moderating a social-networking rating, opinion, discussion, or other
non-factual database is something reasonable to ask of the PyPI

Conversely, if we are under the impression that adding ratings,
feedback, reviews, discussion, and other features to PyPI is *not* going
to be a massive increase in workload for the maintainers, I think that's
a foolish delusion which will be quite costly to the reputation PyPI has
recently gained through hard effort to clarify its role.

By all means, set up a well-maintained social ecosystem around Python
packages. But not on PyPI itself: The Python Package Index is feasible
in part because it has a clear and simple job, though, and that's not

 \                “If you can't hear me sometimes, it's because I'm in |
  `\                                      parentheses.” —Steven Wright |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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