Roadmap for pip resolver and UX work in 2020

Thanks to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Mozilla's Open Source Support program, the PackagingWG is receiving funding to finish pip's dependency resolver and improve pip's user experience.

Key people

Contractors working on this project will be

Work summary

We've finished a next-generation rewrite of the dependency resolver within pip, Python's package download and installation tool. The project ran into massive technical debt, but the refactoring is nearly finished and functionality is in pip 20.3 now. Many improvements and installation and dependency issues for Python users, conda/Anaconda, and other platforms are blocked awaiting this feature.

Also, pip's user experience has become more consistent across features, to fit the user's mental model better, reduce unintended data loss, and provide better error messages and prompts, logs, output, and reporting.

Multiple developers, a UX design/research consultancy, and a project manager are executing a three-phase plan to support user experience, communications/publicity, and testing work (including developing robust testing and continuous integration infrastructure) on the resolver, as well as core feature development and review.

Initially, as developers came up to speed on pip and work on finishing refactoring the build logic within pip, UX experts studied the command line packaging/distribution environment, ran user tests, and developed robust user journeys/concept maps.

Second, the contractors worked together on implementing the resolver. The developers wrote tests, improved CI, built test infrastructure, introduced new abstractions and fixed bugs found in alpha testing, collaborated with downstreams and users about config flags and transition schedules, and so on. The UX experts improved command-line UX (such as in-CLI help and error messages, and specific commands and names of flags), and improved the pip user guide.

Finally, one contract developer is maintaining the pip repository by triaging bugs and reviewing pull requests (releasing bottlenecks), and the UX experts will train maintainers in CLI UX design principles and write UX guidelines for the project.

Throughout, a project manager is finding and communicating with stakeholders and testers, and with the funders.

Detailed work plan

Exists in other documents, such as and .

Phase I (Foundational work, early 2020)

Developers' onboarding and initial work

See RFP.

UX onboarding and initial work

Phase II (Resolver work, ~March-June 2020)


See RFP.


Phase III (Maintenance and Sustainability work, June-December 2020)



Pip2020DonorFundedRoadmap (last edited 2020-11-30 20:04:10 by SumanaHarihareswara)

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