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App Store -- user-oriented front-end for pip.

Project description

App Store is an Apache2 licensed, user-oriented front-end for pip, written in pure-Python, and compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

App Store is currently in the planning stages. But your thoughts and help are welcome.


I feel I see a lot of folks complain about Python packaging and distribution online. Recently, PyOxidizer was published as yet another solution in this space. Personally, I have always found either PyInstaller or Cython’s embed option to be sufficient. But I really think these tools are solving the wrong problem.

Most of the tooling is meant to produce a binary executable. But that’s kind of the easy part. The hard part is updates, crash reports, and uninstalls. It’s managing the whole lifecycle of an application.

When I worked at Microsoft, I used a ClickOnce application and my experience was ideal. Installation and updates just worked seemlessly. I clicked the installer once and everything just worked. It was like installing an app on my phone and running it. I don’t know how any of that works, but it just works.

Recently, I developed a Python package with a few requirements and a few static files. It was just a bit more than a single script could manage. My go-to for internal business needs in that case is a locally hosted PyPI or simple wheel file. I wanted that to work here too but I didn’t want to teach pip and venv to run my script. What I wanted was a pip-porcelain.

I think a graphical PIP could go a bit further and be an app store for Python packages. I love the idea of running Python scripts or pyc files easily on the client machine. I don’t even care if it’s just a command-line application. Give me something that handles installs, updates, uninstalls, and crash reports and I’ll be happy. And allow me to continue using __file__ and writing cross-platform Python scripts that don’t require separate compilation.

I imagine something like a webserver running on the client’s machine with an icon in the taskbar. Let’s use “A” as our icon for now. Click the icon and a webbrowser opens pointing to localhost with a gui front-end for PIP. I think rumps would get us there on Macs. Win32 must have something similar and Ubuntu or whatnot something too. For deployment, use fbs.

App Store is currently in the planning stages. But your thoughts and help are welcome.


  • Pure-Python

  • TODO Fully Documented

  • TODO 100% Test Coverage

  • TODO One-Click Executables for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux

  • TODO Graphical User Interface for pip

  • TODO Package Installs, Updates, Uninstalls

  • TODO venv’s for Installed Packages

  • TODO Crash Reports

  • TODO Startup Utilities: Windows Start Menu, Mac OS X Applications Folder

  • Developed on Python 3.7

  • Tested on CPython 2.7, 3.5, 3.6, and 3.7

  • Tested on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows

  • Tested using Travis CI and AppVeyor CI


Installing App Store is simple with pip:

$ pip install appstore

You can access documentation in the interpreter with Python’s built-in help function:

>>> import appstore
>>> help(appstore)

User Guide

For those wanting more details, this part of the documentation describes tutorial, benchmarks, API, and development.



Copyright 2019 Grant Jenks

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the “License”); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an “AS IS” BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

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