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How To Get Started Making Your Own Python Package

Mon Sep 14 2020

Over the past few days - I've been looking into getting more involved in opensource - so I've been on Github just exploring different repositories and technologies. This got me thinking - how cool would it be to have a tool or program that could help other developers up on GitHub? Most of my stuff now is just websites - not full applications. But how do I start? How can I make my software available to others to use? After googling, I quickly realized I needed to make my own package! So here we will learn the basics of how to make your own Python package!

What is a Package

A python package is just a bunch of files that do something. Similar to a python module - which ends up just being a file.py (module) that can be imported for use.

Minimum Requirements

As I said above, this will go over everything needed at the most minimal level to create your own python package. So let's say you have this awesome idea for a package and you call it my_package - so original I know 🤣.

File Structure

The below shows the minimum files and directory structure needed.

📦my_package
 ┣ 📂my_package
 ┃ ┗ 📜__init__.py
 ┣ 📂tests
 ┣ 📜LICENSE
 ┣ 📜README.md
 ┗ 📜setup.py

The root directory is the name of our package - my_package. Then inside this, we have another directory named the same thing. This is where all of the source code for the package will live - Don't forget the init.py file! At the root we also have

Generating Release Requirements

After you have the needed files, we need to create the needed tools/files for a release, otherwise known as generating the distribution packages for the package. These tools can quickly and easily be installed with pip on the command line as follows:

python3 -m pip install --user --upgrade setuptools wheel

after installing these run the below command from the package root directory:

python3 setup.py sdist bdist_wheel

VOILA and just like, that you've generated what is needed for distributing the package.

Upload Your Awesome Package

Now it is time to upload your package to the Python Package Index

You will need to register for an account (if you don't already have one) on PyPi.

We can use twine to now upload the package. First, you will need to install it if you don't already have it

python3 -m pip install --user --upgrade twine

Then run the below command to upload your package!

python3 -m twine upload dist/*

And just like that you now know what is the minimum needed requirements to upload a package to PyPi and be able to install that package with pip.

Few Notes

If you have questions on any topic here - take a look at this tutorial as it is what I followed to do so.

Also, note that the above tutorial shows how to also upload to TestPyPi and how to debug and make sure your package installs correctly etc.

Thanks for reading and can't wait to see what awesome package you come up with! Stay coding!