|Perl: the Markov chain saw|
The quantity vs. quality lessonby PetaMem (Priest)
|on Jun 01, 2004 at 09:01 UTC||Need Help??|
I know, the issue of QA for CPAN has been brought up at least a thousand times, by far more experienced monks or perl adepts. It has also been answered that many times by even so experienced people - with the result CPAN staying CPAN.
I like CPAN and use it quite extensively, and contribute or "manage, that is being contributed". But now - again - for me the time has come to express my unsatisfaction about the "zero threshold" that is applied for module contribution to CPAN.
If this policy was/is here to allow for fast/seamless growth of the CPAN module repository, well - with several thousand modules in existence it has IMHO more than fulfilled this objective of quantitative growth.
But let's face it: There _IS_ crap on CPAN. And there _IS_ lots of duplicate modules and there _IS_ lots of modules whose functionality is nearly equivalent, but where you have to pick the "good one" from a set of existing. This has been discussed in length before, but evidence is, that the results of these discussions were void.
To me, the natural evolution of CPAN and the "must go" way is so clear, that the only explanation I have for it not happening, is something that will surely bring many - - from the zealots that are to be found in every monastery:
I wouldn't object to the theory, that the Perl community *fears*, that a rigorous evaluation and control of the CPAN modules would bring the poor condition of the CPAN repository to light.
I think we must not fear, but have faith. Yes, it will be painful to see, that 40% of the modules are crap and/or outdated and/or unfinished, another 20% being so-so, 20% being suboptimal, leaving 15% good/useful and 5% superb modules.
There exist hundreds of ideas - some also crap but others perfect - how to improve quality of CPAN. This is technical detail IMHO. What matters most, is to get the Perl community to accept such a project/shift. As for now, it seems like a holy cow where even providing download statistics or some kind of voting system is perceived as a hypothetic discrimination...
IMHO there is a golden way between the present laissez faire and "running the gauntlet" for module authors. My dream is, that we - the community - find and adopt it.
If I look at the comments to this post and really "listen" to them, I think I now understand the nature of CPAN more thoroughly. And this will help me do better decisions concerning it in the future. Thank you.