[Zope3-Users] Re: [Zope3-dev] The Zope Software Certification Program and Common Repository Proposal

Chris McDonough chrism at plope.com
Tue Feb 21 09:48:30 EST 2006

I hate to cross-post this, but would it be possible to limit this  
discussion to a single list (e.g. zope3-dev, maybe)?  I'm interested  
in this topic, but my mail client isn't smart enough to filter it out  
to only one place and I'm sure there are a lot of other people with  
the same issue.

- C

On Feb 21, 2006, at 9:45 AM, Stephan Richter wrote:

> On Tuesday 21 February 2006 05:59, Reinoud van Leeuwen wrote:
>> This seems to me a great step forward but I am missing something.
>> The quality is measured by a number of metrics, but it seems  
>> nowhere is
>> actually measured if the software does what it is supposed to do,  
>> if it is
>> clear how it works and whether it is something you would advise other
>> people to use.
>> This is one of the major problems I've had in the past with things  
>> like
>> the Perl CPAN repository: you can find lot's of modules that seem  
>> to solve
>> your problem, but usually you discover what a module is really  
>> about when
>> you've invested a lot of time in it.
> Right, I hear you. In fact, this is one of the reasons that we  
> decided against
> a name like "Zope Software Quality Program". With the proposed  
> process, we
> cannot guarantee 100% that the package is good. However, there are  
> a couple
> of safe guards:
> (1) If you write doctests as a narrative text file, you really have  
> to think
> hard about the functionality your package provides. I cannot stress it
> enough, doctest text files are *key* to the success of the  
> certification
> program.
> (2) At least in the Common Repository, people will read check-in  
> messages.
> (3) At higher certification levels, other people must support the  
> package.
> This is also not 100% bullet proof, but it is something.
> Overall, I also expect that the community has little tolerance for  
> malicious
> attempts to break the system. If someone detects foul play all he  
> has to do
> is complain on the mailing lists.
>> Would there be room for a voting or feedback step in the process  
>> where
>> people that have tried the module could enter a rating?
> Ah, rating and feedback. :-) This was discussed in the pre-proposal  
> phase as
> well. The problem with feedback and rating is that to do it right, it
> requires a lot of resources that we do not have. Here is a scenario:
> 1. A user U trashes a package because an important feature F is  
> missing in
> package P. So far so good. It is his right to do so.
> 2. The package P authors see the comment and fix it in the code.  
> Very cool,
> the process works.
> 3. But then the user U of the post, must retract his comment. What  
> if he is
> not available? Not so good. The alternative would be to ask a  
> certification
> manager, who might know nothing about the issue and will need a lot  
> of time
> reviewing the complaint and solution. Not so good.
> While rating and feedback is good, to do it right in a process like  
> the ZSCP
> costs a lot of resources.
> Having said that, I see the need to address the issue. Here are two
> suggestions:
> 1. Add a "Future Possibilities" section to the proposal collecting  
> ideas for
> later iterations of the process. This would allow us to address  
> some of the
> common concerns and say: If we have time and resources, this can be  
> done.
> 2. There is already a provision in the process that a package can  
> receive a
> warning. Currently the ZSCP states that the warning can only be  
> issued when a
> package does not fulfill the quality metrics for a given release.
> I could add another provision that a warning can be issued, if X  
> community
> members and 1 certification manager verified a bad package. Each  
> warning
> carries an arbitrary comment that could describe the reason of the  
> warning.
> This way we can use the existing communication channels (mailing  
> list and
> IRC) for feedback and still have a way to formalize feedback. I  
> guess in this
> case we would also need a "resolve" action that could resolve a  
> warning.
> What do you think?
> Regards,
> Stephan
> -- 
> Stephan Richter
> CBU Physics & Chemistry (B.S.) / Tufts Physics (Ph.D. student)
> Web2k - Web Software Design, Development and Training
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