Should there be a dedicated tag (or category) for packaging help questions?

I’m not interested in answering the hundreds of basic “help with this code plz”-type beginner questions on the Python Help category, but I am interested in answering questions about packaging. For example, I just saw How does pip find the C++ compiler? - #4 by jeanas and replied.

Unfortunately, at a rate of ~8 topics per day created in Python Help, it’s just not possible for me to monitor this category more closely than an occasional cursory glance.

Conversely, I have also posted some questions like Packaging a C extension with a dependency on another C extension - #2 by barry-scott which was moved from Python Help to Packaging on the advice of @CAM-Gerlach, and Installer creation based on distributions which I posted on Packaging after having asked the same question on Python Help but not received the type of response I was looking for.

Is this just me, or are other people interested in packaging also not able to keep up with Python Help and thus “missing” packaging questions there?

Could/should something be done about it? I can imagine a #packaging-help tag, or even a dedicated subcategory of Packaging.

I suspect typing people might have the same problem, BTW.


It’s definitely a possibility. Not sure what the other admins think in terms of label versus sub-category.

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I guess I am in a similar situation.

I guess that would work for me. I do not know how discoverable it is. Would users know to look for this tag and add it to their topics?

Maybe this question could be asked in Packaging see what people over there think about a sub-category. I know it is discouraged to ask “packaging user” questions in that category. Also I did not know sub-categories were a thing on Discourse.

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This could be accomplished with a couple set operations on the Packaging category and help tag, but I don’t know if that’s useful. There are a lot of ways to interact with Discourse.

This URL filters for packaging + help and this search is a filter for packaging - help.

If the folks in the category agreed, that could become a convention for “packaging help” questions. Or really “[any category] help” type questions, for things more complicated than the usual Python Help type of issues. I don’t know if there’s a nice way to get the “- help” list as a feed or other view, besides a search.

update: it looks like there is experimental feature that enables a /filter view. That might be a useful feature to enable for people who want to bookmark or otherwise track these kinds of intersecting topics.

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I would very much rather “user help” questions did not get included in the packaging category. If subcategories are possible, and a subcategory’s content is kept separate from the main category, that would be fine. A tag that could be applied to posts in the packaging category wouldn’t be, though.

Personally, I don’t have the time (or honestly, the interest in many cases) to deal with general “packaging user” problems, so I’m grateful that the current structure keeps them independent. I can imagine a “packaging help” category might be useful, if there are enough people interested in helping out there.

Having said this, the packaging guide has a section on how to get support, which suggests raising an issue in GitHub - pypa/packaging-problems: An issue tracker for the problems in packaging. So maybe people interested in supporting users with packaging issues would be better off helping out over there?


A specific Packaging tag or subcategory of Python Help would probably best fit the bill if we want to do this, as it wouldn’t clutter either the already-long list with more categories, or Packaging with “Why doesn’t pip install spam work?” (since subcategory posts are still included in the first-level category list) while making it possible for you to subscribe and set notifications specifically for it, for those so inclined. Tags are basically free from an overhead perspective, but users tend to never see more than the top few tags that show up by default in the UI, so perhaps a subcategory is necessary if we really want this.


I just tagged the following topic with packaging-help tag (that had to be created, it did no exist yet):

First, sorry for the late reply.

Interesting. I already saw this, but it didn’t come to mind. I recalled it as a way to make the packaging tutorial foolproof by having insights on all errors that users made while doing it. I don’t know where I got this idea, though. Is it appropriate to ask questions of the more advanced type there?