Jun 16, 2011

  • Category: Python
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You’re So Vain, So Why Not Use Vanity?

A few months ago I created a package called Vanity

A few months ago I created a package called Vanity[0] that provides easy access to package download statistics from PyPI. You can find the source code here: https://github.com/aclark4life/vanity.

I love this tool, and I use it all the time to gauge the value of a package. Of course, downloads are only one criteria you can use to judge the value of a package, and arguably not even a very good one. Vanity itself is a good example of this phenomenon. I find it incredibly useful, but in it’s history it has only been downloaded 130 times.

Other packages I have created with much less value have been downloaded more times, e.g. plonetheme.aclark_twitter which has been downloaded  674 times. But that package has also been around much longer. So obviously another useful metric would be the time period during which the downloads occurred.

Anyway, here is how it works:

$ easy_install vanity

Then:

$ vanity <package>

For example:

$ vanity vanity
Package `vanity` has been downloaded 130 times!

Or:

$ vanity plonetheme.aclark_twitter
Package `plonetheme.aclark_twitter` has been downloaded 674 times!

Some of my other favorites:

$ vanity Django[1]
Package `Django` has been downloaded 302111 times!
$ vanity zope.component
Package `zope.component` has been downloaded 210541 times!
$ vanity pyramid
Package `pyramid` has been downloaded 26067 times!

Another thing to consider is if hitting PyPI each time is really necessary. I’m told there is PyPI data living somewhere else, and in future versions I would like to make vanity use that data by default.

So, this post is simply to announce Vanity to a wider audience in the event that some folks may find it useful. Otherwise, I will be happy to continue to watch Vanity downloads crawl ever so slowly towards 200.

Notes

[0] By standing on the shoulders of some Plone giants, David Glick, in particular.

[1] There is a known issue with regard to making Vanity case insensitive.

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