Python needs a CPyAN

Peter Hickman peter at
Tue Nov 2 17:36:46 CET 2004

Ville Vainio wrote:
> I think you are overselling CPAN a little bit here. It is not an
> absolute requirement, and I think Python can easily surpass Perl in
> popularity even without CPAN functionality. Perl popularity in general
> seems to be going down, and I don't think Perl is something to worry
> about anymore. Hell, people rarely even mention Perl these days
> anyway.

Just today we required a module that was not installed on our system.

sudo perl -MCPAN -e 'install Data::Pager'

And it was installed with all it's dependencies. Having a central repository for 
all your modules is a real time saver. All you need to know is the name of the 
module and away you go. No searching for website addresses (I don't even know 
where the module was downloaded from) and seeing which one has the correct 
version and then going through the whole thing again for the dependencies.

CPAN has made it easier for Perl programmers to get work done, it would be of 
benefit to Python programmers too.

Talk to the people at CPAN, they may help you to set one up. Over in Ruby land a 
similar system is being set up called Gems. Once you have persuaded the module 
creators to place their wares on CPyAN then it will be the 'one stop shop' for 
Python module and then anyone who writes a new one would automatically assume 
that they need to put theirs there too.

> I don't think Python is too unpopular to sell to companies
> anymore. All you need to do is to demonstrate technical superiority,
> and that should be trivial if the other contender is Perl. Provided
> that your company is not already too stuck with Perl, which is rarely
> the case because with Perl you usually dealing with simple scripts.

You are talking out of your arse.

> Perhaps the priority should be to build a generic Open Source
> catalogued repository retrieval system. I don't see why the Python
> community should do something like this alone, because there really
> isn't too many Python specific aspects in the problem anyway.

The real trick is going to be getting the existing module authors to commit to 
putting their code in your repository in the first place and then making sure 
your CPyAN tools are part of the standard Python distribution.

Well worth the effort.

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