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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report
Monday June 09, 2008
Kwalitee Without a Point
Gabor Szabo requested comments on several new CPANTS metrics. Short comment: these are the worst metrics yet.
Medium comment: Yeah, yeah, Kwalitee isn't a measure of Quality. I get that, but it's no excuse for piling on even more lousy metrics that not only don't know Quality, but have never even bumped into Quality accidentally at the grocery store.
- distributed_by_debian -- I'm sure all users of Win32-specific modules, for example, will be happy to learn that their Kwalitee could be higher if they sweet-talked a Debian Developer into polluting their repository with code useless to Debian.
- latest_version_distributed_by_debian -- maintainer on vacation? Sorry, no Kwalitee for you!
- has_no_bugs_reported_in_debian -- finally, the Win32 developers get a break. Again, I'm not sure what this really means for them, but hey, it's a free Kwalitee point. Life is good.
- has_no_patches_in_debian -- I've only been doing this for a decade, but I'm still under the impression that most of the OSI-certified licenses seen in CPAN distributions allow downstream modification and redistribution. In that decade, I've also seen how often downstream never notifies upstream of changes. (Though
Brendan O'Dea of Debian is one of the most responsive downstream developers from any distribution for Perl 5.)
- uses_test_nowarnings -- because the POD testing metrics work oh-so-well and because testing for custom lexical warnings is evil and bad and wrong, or at least stuffing a do-nothing string "use Test::NoWarnings" in your t/ directory somewhere is a certain sign of Kwalitee.
80% of these new metrics only measure Kwalitee of a distribution to Debian users. That may be useful for Debian users, but it's highly inappropriate (and worse, irrelevant) for everyone else. (I believe Ubuntu has a bug somewhere that not all of the world uses a Debian-based distribution.)
Constructive criticism: How about a way to opt into only the useful CPANTS metrics? I'd hate for users of my code to get confused by meaningless Kwalitee Theater.
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