Cheese Shop: some history for the new-comers

Mike C. Fletcher mcfletch at
Sat Mar 11 21:56:14 CET 2006

A.M. Kuchling wrote:
> On Sat, 11 Mar 2006 16:50:26 +1100, 
> 	richard <richardjones at> wrote:
>> So I did what people always do in this situation, I asked Barry Warsaw to
>> name. it. And he did, "Cheese Shop". I liked the name, so it was done. When
>> the new pydotorg machines went live last year, so too did the name
> Given the endless whiny complaints about the name, though, I think we
> should just give up and go back to PyPI (pronounced 'Pippy').
I realise it's an incredibly boring name, but what about pronouncing it 
as "the package index" or "the Python Package Index".  Spelling it 
"PyPI" if one insists on a very short name in some written context is 
fine, but try not to use it when talking to a new user.  That is, link 
to the page as "The Package Index" from, refer to it as 
"you can find that in the package index", or "The Python Package Index 
has modules for X, Y, and Z" in a non-Python context.  Use pippy if 
you're talking with someone deeply embedded in Python culture (maybe), 
but don't expect people to know what you're talking about.  Use "the 
Cheese Shop" similarly.

Luckily, already does this, so no change is really 
required, it's only the server-name that says "cheeseshop", everything 
else says "Package Index" (that I could find)...

Which boils down to "don't call it the cheese shop or pippy when you're 
talking to new users", maybe don't even call it that when you're talking 
to *anyone* who's not deeply pythonified, but feel free to think of it 
as the cheese shop or pippy.  The familiar names, cute as they may be, 
don't really help users much.  That is, make it an in-joke if you like, 
but assume that users will refer to it via the obvious, simple 
description of what it is and target documentation and communication 
appropriately.  When/if the user "gets" that the Package Index is the 
Cheese Shop they can feel great having pierced that bubble, but don't 
force them to pierce it to get the software they need.

Just my two cents,

  Mike C. Fletcher
  Designer, VR Plumber, Coder

More information about the Python-list mailing list