[Distutils] The mypy package

Chris Barker chris.barker at noaa.gov
Mon Apr 18 12:31:55 EDT 2016

On Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 8:21 AM, Jim Fulton <jim at jimfulton.info> wrote:

> I suggest measuring activity by downloads, not releases. Sometimes
> maintained packages are boring enough not to need releases, while many
> projects depend on them.

so this is the tricky bit -- in the mypy case, it's pretty clear that many
of the downloads are mistakes. maybe many of them are real use cases also
-- how to know? there is no way to know!

Yes, it's possible that:

 - someone puts something up n pypi.
 - that someone abandons the project.
 - no one picks up maintenance for the project
 - other people still find it useful --- many years into the future.

This is the one edge-case that is the real trick. Personally, I would argue
that a completely and totally abandoned project would be OK to remove from
pypi (Not any time really fast). If you can't even get anyone to step and
say: "sure -- I'll respond to an email once a year to keep this alive",
then you really have a pretty darn dead project.

The trick is how to make this process work. Maybe an apparently abandoned
project gets a "might-be-abandoned" tag. Then its page geta a prominent --
"We need someone to take this over" message. Maybe even a way to pass a
message off to folks that install it via pypi. If no one steps up for, say,
a year or so, then it gets removed. We could even make that provisional,
for another period of time, so folks trying to download it would get a
message saying:

This package appears to be abandoned -- if you would like adopt it, please
do such and such"

They key point ist hat the barrier to entry for grabbing a name on pypi is
very, very low. maybe the barrier to KEEP that name should be equally low
-- rather than non-existant.

I think the domain name system is a fine parallel -- if you want to keep
your domain name, you need to keep your registration up -- all that takes
is a few bucks a year (and in this case, we wouldn't even ask for a few
bucks) but you need to do SOMETHING -- you can't just abandon it and keep
everyone else from using it forever.

And note that it's possible for someone to put up a useful web site on a
free hosting service, attach it to their domain name, and then abandon it
-- sure, there may be someone out there that finds that site useful years
from now -- but those are the breaks.


> Jim
> On Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 11:18 AM, Chris Barker - NOAA Federal
> <chris.barker at noaa.gov> wrote:
> >> Though I do wonder how effective that would be in this case.  For all
> we know, in the case of mypy, the maintainer is simply ignoring someone
> else who is trying to take the name they registered.  (I get emails all the
> time for people trying to get me to sign over my domain names;
> >
> > Domain names are a different system -- you need to maintain your
> registration.
> >
> > PyPi names, on the other hand, are all too easy to setup, and then
> > completely ignore, maybe even forget you used it.
> >
> > We really should have SOME way to determine if a PyPi name has been
> > abandoned. Or even be proactive--PyPi names must be maintained in SOME
> > way, perhaps:
> >
> > Push a change or update at least once a year (or some other interval).
> >
> > Or
> >
> > Respond to some sort of "do you still want this" email. At least once a
> year.
> >
> > If neither of these occurs, then we could have a deprecation period.
> >
> > Details aside, as PyPi continues to grow, we really need a way to
> > clear out the abandoned stuff -- the barrier to entry for creating a
> > new name on PyPi is just too low.
> >
> > This is all too late for MyPy, but it has certainly come up before,
> > and will again, more and more.
> >
> > -CHB
> > _______________________________________________
> > Distutils-SIG maillist  -  Distutils-SIG at python.org
> > https://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/distutils-sig
> --
> Jim Fulton
> http://jimfulton.info


Christopher Barker, Ph.D.

Emergency Response Division
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Chris.Barker at noaa.gov
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