Other signs of project stability

While TideLift doesn’t seem to require these other features the way they do things like Security Policy or Release Notes, here are some other things you can do for your project to make it more attractive to potential Enterprise customers:

  • online docs
  • automated testing with CI
  • online tutorials / videos
  • publications
  • conference presence / visibility
  • logo
  • swag

These are all added hallmarks of packages that will make the feel more “enterprise-worthy”.

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Hi,

Could you point to a project (or multiple) doing this right according to you ? This would provide some inspiration.

Thanks

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Check out the work done by Anaconda. They have put together a thriving business packaging and supporting Python packages for data science and machine learning, notably pandas, numpy, matplotlib, and their own package manager conda. They are beyond Tidelift, might even be seen as something of a competitor, except they don’t compensate their maintainers.

As for my own project pyparsing, I think I hit some of these, but could be better:

  • online docs - at least basic documentation is generated from the source, and kept online at https://pyparsing-docs.readthedocs.io/en/latest/
  • automated testing with CI (continuous integration) - done using TravisCI (CircleCI is another popular service)
  • online tutorials / videos - I’m working on doing some videos soon; my project wiki (https://github.com/pyparsing/pyparsing/wiki) includes a page with links to articles and blog posts about interesting uses of pyparsing
  • publications - I used to be more active in this area, including having a 64-page e-book from O’Reilly, plus articles in Python magazine; Julia Evans publishes some good zines at https://wizardzines.com/, and this medium seems very popular. Twitter activity is also good for keeping up visibility, as well as maintaining a sub-reddit, and both of these are free.
  • conference presence / visibility - easier than this sounds, local meetups are always looking for speakers; state and national conferences may be more competitive to submit to, but keep trying
  • logo - I have no logo, nor do I have a polished web site. I always thought that something like a reverse meat-grinder, taking raw data and producing parsed information, would be good, but it turns out this is very hard to actually convey visually
  • swag - I added this thinking about another Twitterer I follow @kvlly (Kelly Vaughn), who has really done well producing stickers and mugs with git and regex cheat sheets, plus stickers. These would represent more cash outlay though, so approach with caution. If you do get a logo, go to a mall and get it embroidered onto a golf shirt and wear it to a software conference.

HTH,
– Paul

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Thanks for the all the links and resources.

For what could be automated by Tidelift:

  • Online docs: maybe checking that’s an URL exist on the github repo. Only works on Github.
  • Automated tests: can check that the package has a “test” script.
  • All the rest: they are cool idea, but there’s no way to automatically check them.

While writing these, it made me think about the “SourceRank” from libraries.io (that Tidelift is already using for the license).
It’s a score based on many factor, some of which match what you said.

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I find the “automated testing with CI” point particularly interesting. In the ruby world, detecting whether a library has automated testing with CI wouldn’t provide much value, since every single library with some widespread usage has that.

However, I believe the CI status of the master branch of a library is indeed a sign of project stability. Well maintained libraries usually have a consistenly green CI status.

In my opinion, being able to detect the current status of CI of the master branch of a library, and compare how the percentage of passing builds is significantly higher for lifted libraries, would be a valuable thing to show to subscribers.

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