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Finding Popular Packages on Curated Lists

Websites and resources mentioned in the lesson:

00:00 Browsing through curated lists is one of the quickest ways you can find a Python package that can help you with a problem at hand. So you can just pull up one of these curated lists websites and then browse popular libraries by topic.

00:14 For example, one topic might be web development, another one might be database interfaces or data science. And that gives you a good idea of what the popular and recommended choices for solving those problems are in the Python community.

00:29 I’ve listed some of these curated list websites for you and we’re going to take a look at a couple of those now. The first curated list website that I want to show you is called Awesome Python, you can find it at awesome-python.com.

00:43 This is a really extensive list with useful Python packages. You can see here, it’s split up into different categories and then you can drill down into those.

00:54 Let’s check out database drivers here. Now you can see here that there are actually subcategories for example, the drivers for MySQL, PosgreSQL, and so on.

01:04 Now this isn’t a review site, this is merely a list of popular packages. So you will still have to make a decision which one you prefer and I am going to give you some tips for that, later on in the course.

01:17 You can also search this list, which is handy sometimes, so for example if you’re looking for libraries to download stuff through HTTP you can find those quickly through the search function.

01:29 Now what’s interesting about Awesome Python too is that it’s an open source website, there is a community of people working on the website contents through GitHub.

01:38 And you can see ongoing development here on the GitHub project page, people will create issues and pull requests to add new recommended libraries or change the preferred choice.

01:49 So all of this is very fluid, and the great thing is that it’s usually fairly up to date. So what I really like about this curated list is that there is so much activity and people are working hard to keep it up to date.

02:02 Also, you can contribute and jump in and help make the site better if you want to. Another useful website is python.libhunt.com. The packages that show up here are actually based on the contents of the Awesome Python list.

02:17 But libhunt adds some extra features on top of that, for example, more extensive search and then they also have some metrics for project health and popularity which can be helpful sometimes.

02:32 For example, there is this relative popularity indicator, that might be helpful for you to make a choice between two libraries, there is also this activity indicator telling you how much activity there is on the project repository.

02:45 Again, this can be a good way to identify a well maintained package, now when I click on one of those packages, I get some more stats here instead of just being redirected to the project homepage.

02:56 Depending on what you’re looking for, this python.libhunt.com website might be a good way for you to find quality Python packages. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Python is another great website with library recommendations. You can find it at python-guide.org.

03:13 When you scroll down a little bit, you will find the scenario guide for Python applications. And this guide makes some recommendations around tools and modules based on different scenarios.

03:25 Let’s check out this network application section here. We see a list of recommended libraries here and while this is not as extensive as Awesome Python what I like about this is that it gives a little bit more background info about the library.

03:39 This might save you some research time, and in general, the Hitchhiker’s Guide To Python is a pretty fantastic website, so you might want to check it out in any case.

03:48 Again, this guide is an open source website on GitHub, so people can contribute to the site through issues and by opening pull requests and that generally means that there is some activity and it’s kept up to date over time.

04:01 Another handy website is Python Module Of The Week, you can find it at pymotw.com. Now, this website is mainly focused on modules in the Python standard library, it’s not really reviewing any third party modules but nevertheless, this is a great resource to find some of the awesome packages that are shipping with Python and that are included in the standard library.

04:26 One of the great things about Python is that it comes with “batteries included”, you will be able to solve many of the problems you encounter in practice by working with the Python standard library.

04:36 Generally the implementations there are well maintained, and they are included with any Python install, so it makes sense to do a quick check if what you are looking for is already part of the Python standard library.

04:47 And for that kind of research, Python Module Of The Week is a great website. Okay, here is one more useful website for doing that kind of library research.

04:56 Python has an official wiki at wiki.python.org and it also includes some library recommendations or generally useful libraries that you might want to check out.

05:06 There is a useful modules page in the wiki and it will point you to some of the building blocks that you can use in your own projects, let’s check it out.

05:16 Again, this is organized by category and while I found this isn’t as well maintained as let’s say Awesome Python there is still some interesting modules in here, so if you have the time to do research you might want to check out the wiki as well.

05:31 Some of these sections have specific pages that talk about web programming for example, so you also might want to check those out. The page on web frameworks for example is pretty extensive, it’s kept fairly up to date and there is a big list of Python web frameworks that you might want to browse through if that is what you’re interested in.

05:51 Personally, I would probably start my research with one of the other websites, but it might still pay off to spend some time browsing around on the official Python wiki.

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Doug Ouverson on Oct. 25, 2020

Great course Dan. I noticed that pymotw.com was not in list below. Cheers!

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Dan Bader RP Team on Oct. 26, 2020

Thanks Doug, I just added it :)

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