How an annoying Python package led Alex Clark to create Pillow

Brenna Heaps
by Brenna Heaps
on August 15, 2019

While working in a Python CMS called Plone, Alex Clark kept running into issues with its imaging library, PIL, caused by the non-standard way it was packaged. Alex thought he could create something simpler, so he built Pillow in 2010.

Today, Pillow is backed by a five member team, and Alex hopes it continues to grow. He’s offering assurances for Pillow through Tidelift in part because he likes the idea of formalizing the minutiae of project maintenance—things that maintainers probably should be doing, but don’t always get to because of time constraints.

We sat down with Alex a few months ago at our first ever maintainer event to get the details on how Pillow began and why he decided to work with Tidelift.

Alex Clark (2)
2018 open source survey results