Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Welcome to the Warehouse!

Warehouse is the new codebase being developed to power the Python Packaging Index (PyPI). Python developers and users already know that PyPI is the official comprehensive repository of third-party open source Python packages (see Wikipedia). PyPI, maintained by the PSF, is where developers publish their software modules and from which package managers, such as pip, download packages. Given the important role played by PyPI, the Warehouse project is bound to have a huge impact on the continued use and growth of Python. 
While many volunteers have been working on the project, the biggest contributions have come from lead developer Donald Stufft and web-design specialist, Nicole Harris. Donald, based in the US, is a core contributor to PyPI (as well as to CPython, pip, virtualenv, Django & Cryptography), while UK-based Nicole runs a web development business, Kabu Creative.
The design goals, as stated on Nicole's website, were:
  • To update the visual identity 
  • To make packages more discoverable
  • To accommodate the needs of both users and package maintainers 
  • To give the project the same level of professionalism as a commercial project of the same scale 
  • To ensure that the user experience reflects the Python community–a community that is welcoming, helpful and inclusive
Donald and Nicole have recently released a first look at the new design on the demo sites, Warehouse and Warehouse staging.
Looking great, thanks to Donald and Nicole's hard work, but there is plenty more to be done: writing code, writing the user guide (PyPUG), usability testing, and giving feedback. Details on how to volunteer and more info can be found on Nicole's site.
I would love to hear from readers. Please send feedback, comments, or blog ideas to me at msushi@gnosis.cx.