Python AppStore / Marketplace

Marcel Luethi marcel.luethi at mlsystems.ch
Sun Feb 22 11:55:51 CET 2009


Dear Community

Now I'm standing here, having this great idea for a brand new rocking app...
But where do I start? I want it to be multi-platform (Linux, Mac OS X,
Windows). It should be easy to install and upgrade. It should be
self-contained, independent of an already installed Python. And of course -
the world should be able to find it!

So what do I do? I'm studying all the possibilities to make it
self-contained (virtualenv, InstantDjango, PortablePython...), searching for
installers (PyInstaller, EasyInstall, ...), looking into making it
executable on every platform (py2exe, py2app, cx_Freeze, ...), analyzing all
GUI frameworks (wxPython, PyGTK, PyQt, ...), investigating all hosting
providers (Google Code, SourceForge, ...) and so on and so forth.

This is not easy at all!

Using my iPhone I suddenly realize how easy it is to find applications in
Apple's AppStore. How easy and fast it is to install or de-install an app.
My iPhone even checks in the background if there is an upgrade which could
be installed painlessly.

Then I see VMware's Virtual Appliance Marketplace, where you can download
already pre-configured "appliances" for all kind of stuff. You can even
download a basic appliance, install and configure your servers and tools -
and upload it again, so that others can profit of your work.

Unfortunately there's nothing like this in the Python world...

My idea: what about having a beefed up Cheeseshop for Python apps and an
accompanying client app kind of iTunes for Python apps?

The server side could be easily implemented with any of the current web
frameworks. It's simply a management platform for the app packages
(descriptions, versions, platforms, licenses, user's comments, number of
downloads, ...) and the package files themselves.
It should be definitely hosted by the PSF I think.

The multi-platform client should be intuitively and elegantly allow app
browsing, downloading and installing those Python apps. In that respect it
is sort of a Linux package manager (Synaptic, YUM, ...). But this is only
the end-user related stuff. Furthermore it should allow to create new apps
(probably based on a previously downloaded base app), package and upload
them again (kind of Google AppEngine Launcher). Those base packages should
include some basic management framework (for installation and configuration)
and hopefully soon after the release of this platform they will be created
in a broad variety to allow app developers to choose among many
Python-version/platform/GUI/...-combinations.

IMHO an architecture like this would greatly enhance the productivity of the
whole Python community by capitalizing the knowledge of many Python
specialists. I don't have to find/install/configure all the basic stuff
myself (see above) to build my app. But I can concentrate on my app because
I'm standing on the shoulders of giants.

I believe it also would make Python as a great platform more visible to the
world - because there is only one place you have to go...


What do you think???
Is this crazy??? Or simply stupid?
Or is this the way to world domination...? ;-)


Unfortunately I'm not expert enough to build such a system - but if there is
enough interest in the community I gladly would like to help.

Marcel


PS:
Naming is important! "Python AppStore" or "Python App Marketplace" is nice -
but I would prefer something like "Python Bazaar" or "Python Souq" to
emphasize the community aspect.
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