Not enough Python library development [was PEP scepticism]

Grant Griffin not.this at
Tue Jul 3 23:26:01 EDT 2001

Roman Suzi wrote:
> CPyAN is much more complex task, because there are:

I think the problem here might be one of marketing, combined with a lack
of corporate sponsorship.  To that end, I propose this resource be
called "Python Program Archive Network", or PyPAN, for short. That might
help it attract funding from Mrs. Smith's and Sara Lee.  (Heck, if
nothing else, maybe those ladies can contribute something tasty to the
Python Cookbook.)


Seriously, folks, I never was a big fan of CPAN: in fact, for me, it was
just another part of my overall poor user-interface experience with Perl
<wink>.  Although CPAN is impressive in terms of sheer girth, the CPAN
concept seemed to encourage large interdependencies between modules. 
Although this seems like good thing in some ways (because it indicates a
lot of software reuse), I found it nightmarish to install even fairly
simple packages.  (I never could get the automatic CPAN installer gizmo
to work well--at least without giving it a great deal of manual help.)

Having a very large standard library seems a better solution.  (Of
course, Perl also comes with a large standard library.)  I never seem to
have large cross-package dependency problems with Python; my experience
has been that nearly all packages require zero or one other packages. 
Presumably, this is a fortunate aftertaste of the fact that PyPAN is
still just a half-baked idea.

But maybe an increasingly large standard library isn't totally
practical.  An alternative that I think would be very helpful is
"application-targeted" distributions.  For example, someone could make a
"Numeric" bundle of Python, including NumPy and related modules;
likewise, there could be a "webmaster" bundle.  Of course, this takes a
lot of time and effort for somebody to create and maintain. 
(ActiveState folks, are you listening?--given that you somehow make
money by giving away software, the more software you give away, the more
money you'll make <wink>.)

half-baked-entrepreneurial-ly y'rs,


Grant R. Griffin                                       g2 at
Publisher of dspGuru                 
Iowegian International Corporation  

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