[Python Dependency Pitfalls] A total mess?

Hey there,

Recently I watched a Pythonista ask for advice on setting up a Python project on his work machine.

This new developer had some prior experience with NodeJS and had just started to get his feet wet with Python.

But OH BOY was he already frustrated:

"Why is Python dependency management so sh*t?"

He was trying to install someone else's Python application and to get it to run on his work machine.

The app had some external dependencies it needed to work properly—things like a third-party networking library and a database interface.

But the way the original author "documented" these dependencies was utterly lacking:

There was only a small "README" file with a list of packages the project needs to work.

That's where the trouble started—

This list was a) incomplete and b) lacked any versioning information whatsoever.

So our poor Pythonista is trying hard to make this application work.

But every time he installs another package dependency and then tries to launch the app he gets slammed in the face with this:

"ImportError: No module named X"

He then spends 15 minutes googling for a solution, finally hunts down and installs the missing package, runs the app again and:

"ImportError: No module named Y"

Yuck!

(Rinse and repeat.)

He's spinning his wheels, and the lack of progress is starting to get to him.

After all, what he loves about programming is "programming"—and NOT wasting hours on trial and error just getting ready for some real development work.

So the guy becomes (understandably) more and more irritated.

Finally, he vents his frustration by putting the blame on Python:

"In NodeJS it's fairly basic to have all dependencies listed in package.json and everything gets installed automatically with a simple command…"

"Why isn't there such a thing for Python? Python packaging is A TOTAL MESS."

And who would disagree with him after going through the same experience?

Modern dependency management and dealing with third-party packages in Python is complex.

And it's easy to get stuck or to "shoot yourself in the foot" if you don't feel confident in the central workflows and tools.

Over the next 5 days, I'll show you some of the main pitfalls with dependency management in Python—and how to avoid them.

When you steer clear of these potholes, you'll find that you can make progress more easily…

And you'll pull ahead of your peers who are left wondering why their productivity continues to plateau.

We'll kick off the first lesson tomorrow.

— Dan Bader

P.S. Ironically, pitfall #1 is something that recently shook the NodeJS community to its core.

It was a "clustermug" so bad that even some newspapers reported about it. But unfortunately Python isn't immune against this problem either…

You'll hear the details in my next email.

Older messages

[Python Dependency Pitfalls] How to set the world on fire

Friday, July 16, 2021

Hey there, #1 on my list of dependency management pitfalls is there for a good reason: It lead to a single developer causing mayhem and breaking thousands of open-source projects around the world in

[Sublime + Python Setup] Sublime Text is just a blank canvas…

Friday, July 16, 2021

Hey there, When I became serious about optimizing Sublime Text with plugins, it was hard for me to separate the wheat from the chaff. Without a real guideline or roadmap I resorted to installing *any*

[PythonistaCafe] What's in PythonistaCafe for you?

Friday, July 16, 2021

Hey there, A couple of years ago I'd become quite interested in martial arts. Hours upon hours of watching "The Karate Kid" growing up must've taken their toll on me... And so, I

[Sublime + Python Setup] How to become a happier & more productive Python dev

Friday, July 16, 2021

Hey there, I really struggled with setting up an effective development environment as a new Python developer. It was difficult to build the right habits and to find a set of tools I enjoyed to use.

[Sublime + Python Setup] The Ctrl+s "Heisenbug"

Friday, July 16, 2021

"What the **** is going on?!" I heard Keith yell. Returning from my lunch break and in a helpful mood I grabbed my coffee mug and shuffled over to my coworker's desk. "What's

Alpine.js Weekly #69

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Alpine plugins are dropping, keep an eye on Caleb Porzio's announcements. 🥳 New Alpine Plugin: Persist 🍾 Easily persist data across page loads by using a nifty little decorator function: $persist()

Olympics: Scammers are trying to cash in on the Olympic Games

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Smart Cities Robotic Challenge; KDE is to Linux what 7 was to Windows Subscription | Read Online | Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Top Story of the Day July 23, 2021 Top Story of the Day Scammers offer

Weekly Xamarin - Issue 313

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Moar MAUI! Weekly Xamarin View on the Web Archives ISSUE 313 24th July 2021 KYM PHILLPOTTS G'day Everyone, We are now on the downhill slope towards MUAI releases and you can really see it in the

[Python Dependency Pitfalls] "Re-inventing the wheel" disease

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Hey there, PyPI, the Python packaging repository, now contains more than 100000 third-party packages in total. That's an *overwhelming* number of packages to choose from... And this feeling of

The Plastic World of RealSelf

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Cyberbits #10: “The TripAdvisor of Boob Jobs” ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

The Framework Laptop is now shipping — BirdNet – Identify Birds by Sound — and AWS's Egregious Egress

Friday, July 23, 2021

Issue #473 — Top 20 stories of July 24, 2021 Issue #473 — July 24, 2021 You receive this email because you are subscribed to Hacker News Digest. You can open it in the browser if you prefer. 1 The

Daily Crunch - Bitcoin 'is a big part of our future,' says Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey

Friday, July 23, 2021

TechCrunch Newsletter TechCrunch logo The Daily Crunch logo Friday, July 23, 2021 • By Alex Wilhelm Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for July 23, 2021. It's been an interesting week for the crypto

Software Testing Weekly - Issue 81

Friday, July 23, 2021

Do you ask the right questions? View on the Web Archives ISSUE 81 July 23rd 2021 COMMENT Welcome to the 81st issue! Here's one thing I'd like to highlight this week. It's a meaningful post

The Dial-Up Volunteer Army 💾

Friday, July 23, 2021

How AOL was built on a an army of unpaid volunteers. Here's a version for your browser. Hunting for the end of the long tail • July 23, 2021 Today in Tedium: In some ways, social media started with

JSK Daily for Jul 23, 2021

Friday, July 23, 2021

JSK Daily for Jul 23, 2021 View this email in your browser A community curated daily e-mail of JavaScript news Snapshot Testing for Frontends There are many types of software testing. Among these, one