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Rating System for Modules

by jonjacobmoon (Pilgrim)
on Jan 09, 2002 at 02:13 UTC ( #137276=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Several times, I have found myself asking the fine people here at PM what modules they might recommend for this or that. It got me thinking that maybe there ought to be some sort of rating system on CPAN or on a related site. At the very least, there could be a number of downloads stat to tell use how popular something is. I might even look to Freshmeat's stat algorithms as an example, but what I would really like to see is a system where people who have actually used a module rate its worth. I have searched for such a site with no success. Is there one, or if not, would you, the esteemed members of PM, appreciate a site or service that incorporates this?

Lets face it, there are over 6,000 modules there, and I for one would love to search on "foo" and sort by "reputation" (to borrow a PM phrase).

I admit it, I am Paco.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Rating System for Modules
by Jazz (Curate) on Jan 09, 2002 at 03:38 UTC
Re: Rating System for Modules
by jmcnamara (Monsignor) on Jan 09, 2002 at 03:43 UTC

    Micheal Schwern has an idea for an automated quality assurance system for CPAN called CPANTS.

    As part of this there is meant to be a karma rating for authors and modules.

    At YAPC::Eu::2001 I signed up for a working group to implement a karma. OeufMayo and BooK were also involved. I think that we all felt that the PerlMonks system could be used in some way. However, I haven't written any code and judging by the mailing list no-one else has either.

    Nevertheless, it is a good idea and it should be followed through.

    Does anyone have any opinions about the suitablity of the Slash, PerlMonks or Everything engines for this task?


Re: Rating System for Modules
by n3dst4 (Scribe) on Jan 09, 2002 at 16:53 UTC
    Good idea - counting downloads wouldn't work, though, because of all those pesky mirrors. It would have to be an opt-in system. I could have done with it when I was trying to find a Whois module recently.

    The other downside is that as soon as you see a message like:

    If you like this module, visit and vote for it.
    You're going to think you've tripped over a porn site - you know, with those pathetic, interminable "Vote for this site!!!" banners.

    And then CPAN will turn into a great big vote-whoring exercise and before you know it, someone will write Natalie::Portman and Hot::Grits.

    Nice idea though.
      counting downloads wouldn't work, though, because of all those pesky mirrors

      This is true if FTP downloads are counted. However and PPM could be modified to notify a central server every time a user installs or updates a module. Of course, not everyone uses or PPM.

      Also, this may be considered undesirable from a privacy standpoint.

        The only problem with using this as a metric is that it doesn't measure whether or not you ever used it after you installed it, or what your opinion of it was. I've downloaded *tons* or modules from CPAN, but that doesn't mean that I would rate them all the same. Sometimes I'll download one thinking it may do what I need, but upon closer examination I find that it doesn't (or worse, doesn't even work). I wouldn't want my constant useage of HTML::Template to be rated the same as my curiosity download of (the previously mentioned) Natalie::Portman.

        I don't think counting downloads alone in any fashion is going to provide the kind of info to be really helpful. However, it would be good to have it along side a 'vote' based system, so that you could tell what percentage of the people that downloaded it rated it well.

        perl -l -e "eval pack('h*','072796e6470272f2c5f2c5166756279636b672');"

Re: Rating System for Modules
by mirod (Canon) on Jan 09, 2002 at 20:10 UTC

    If that's any help once upon a time I designed a Module Review Report. It might be a starting point to design an application that would let people give their opinion on modules.

    A general index listing categorized modules (that's easy, the namespace provides a convenient category) and the summary could link to the detailed report (which could be sorted on the various fields).

    BTW I think it is important that comment authors be listed, as it prevents "ballot stuffing" and gives readers a way to evaluate the credibility of the rating.

Re: Rating System for Modules
by n3dst4 (Scribe) on Jan 09, 2002 at 23:57 UTC
    The more I think about this the more I like it. Think what a bonus searchability was to CPAN.
    • Not based on downloads (although that could be statistic for the curious)
    • Non-anonymous voting
    • Reviews/comments/notes
    • Natalie::Portman gets +10,000 bonus points
    I'm up for giving this some time (reality permitting). Mirod's review section looks like a good start. Is this a Perlmonks things or a site in its own right?

      At the moment the review section is... just an idea, there is no code whatsoever to support it. I would think that in order to work it would have to be part of PerlMonks, just so users can be authenticated by the site.

      I (or anybody with half a clue and more time on their hands!) can write a quick proto, just to demonstrate the concept and get the UI right, but then the maintainers would have to integrate it in the site.

        Well, I've got the next two days off work so I might have a quick go. Maybe this is the moment to learn about writing nodeballs B-)

        Authentication-wise, we can can always have our own list of users, although admittedly a Perl Monks tie-in would be great.

        Where's the "Summon a Perl Monks Maintainer" button when you need it?

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