PyPi (Cheeseshop) on Google App Engine

Like many of you, I've had my jaw on the floor since the release of Google App Engine. Although there are skeptics out there, a careful read of their terms will show you that it's for real — Google has released GOOGLE to the world and it's not for scary marketing purposes. In fact, I've been growing tired of paranoid Google haters; I'm hoping this will shut them up for a while.

Why is App Engine such a breakthrough? The concept of a hosted web application is nothing new but it has never been done this well. Mundane server maintenance? Gone. Infinite scalability? Check. 100% uptime? Let's face it, if Google went offline you'd probably be down in a nuclear bunker playing Parcheesi.

So ... how should we leverage this tool for the greater good of the community? I can't count the ways without getting dizzy. How about let's start with a mirror of PyPi, the Python Package Index?

PyPi on the App Engine

I barely spent two days on it, but here it is: Test it out, play with it, try to break it.

As Python grows, especially due to App Engine, PyPi needs to scale too. Zope has put together a PyPi mirror but that's the only other one I know of (actually, I can't even find the link to it right now). Coincidentally, PyPi even went offline for a few min while I was writing this blog post.


You Can Help

I'm not dedicated to this project, I just thought it sounded like a good idea and would be a fun way to experiment with the App Engine. If anyone is interested in working on it just let me know If there is enough interest I'll put it on Google Code. Possibly the most exciting feature of App Engine is the Datastore API (aka BigTable) and Ben Bangert agrees. It's a little hard for me to wrap my head around it but so far the Expando class—besides being the coolest name for a class—seems to work great for storing package data. If EGG-INO grows a new parameter, it just gets tacked on to the row dynamically.

This has also been a great way to dig up bugs, some of which have already been fixed.