[Python-ideas] Defining an easily installable "Recommended baseline package set"

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Mon Oct 30 12:08:59 EDT 2017

On 31 October 2017 at 00:28, Guido van Rossum <guido at python.org> wrote:

> I just feel that when you're talking about an org like PayPal they can
> take care of themselves and don't need our help. They will likely have
> packages they want installed everywhere that would never make in on your
> list. So it feels this whole discussion is a distraction and a waste of
> time (yours, too).

Just because companies are big doesn't mean they necessarily have anyone
internally that's already up to speed on the specifics of recommended
practices in a sprawling open source community like Python's. The genesis
of this idea is that I think we can offer a more consistent initial
experience for those folks than "Here's PyPI and Google, y'all have fun
now" (and in so doing, help folks writing books and online tutorials to
feel more comfortable with the idea of assuming that libraries like
requests will be available in even the most restrictive institutional
environments that still allow the use of Python).

One specific situation this idea is designed to help with is the one where:

- there's a centrally managed Standard Operating Environment that dictates
what gets installed
- they've approved the python.org installers
- they *haven't* approved anything else yet

Now, a lot of large orgs simply won't get into that situation in the first
place, since their own supplier management rules will push them towards a
commercial redistributor, in which case they'll get their chosen
redistributor's preferred package set, which will then typically cover at
least a few hundred of the most popular PyPI packages.

But some of them will start from the narrower "standard library only"
baseline, and I spent enough time back at Boeing arguing for libraries to
be added to our approved component list to appreciate the benefits of
transitive declarations of trust ("we trust supplier X, they unambigously
state their trust in supplier Y, so that's an additional point in favour of
our also trusting supplier Y") when it comes time to make your case to your
supplier management organisation. Such declarations still aren'y always
sufficient, but they definitely don't hurt, and they sometimes help.


Nick Coghlan   |   ncoghlan at gmail.com   |   Brisbane, Australia
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