[development] module duplication in Drupal contrib

Xiaodan "Daniel" Zhou danithaca at gmail.com
Thu Mar 20 15:31:32 UTC 2008

Yes. I will improve the "pivots" algorithm during the summer so that it can
mine issues, group messages, etc. But the first thing is to go live on d.o.
now :)  I'm working with Narayan on that.

On Wed, Mar 19, 2008 at 4:17 PM, catch <catch56 at googlemail.com> wrote:

> With the current number of contribs, it's not only hard for 'end-users'
> (whoever they might be) to find modules to suit their needs, it's also hard
> for developers. As others have noted, some (especially new) developers don't
> even bother to check before rolling their own and contributing it back.
> However I've seen well known names publish a module, have an issue in their
> queue that says 'is this duplicate?', then they've almost immediately joined
> forces and marked one or the other as deprecated. A lot of work gets wasted
> that way and it's not really anyone's fault, especially when it's people who
> always search first before they do any work :)
> The more modules there are, the harder it'll be to select one, so more
> duplicate modules will be written, so there'll be more modules, so it'll get
> harder to select one...
> We know none of this holds true for all modules, superficially at least -
> CCK and flexinode did similar things, but there's a reason why CCK,
> introduced later, is on it's way into core now, and the architectural
> difference was there from the beginning - so not really duplicate. Plus CCK
> and Views have eliminated a whole plethora of 'node modules' built for
> specific tasks - which can be replicated in a couple of minutes via the UI.
> However that tends to be the exception which proves the rule, especially
> when discussing smaller or more specific projects.
> A similar discussion came up last year (it was shorter than this one I
> think), and with tongue in cheek I suggested a "Duplicate modules Hall of
> Shame" somewhere in groups.drupal.org - where you could post up modules
> you think are very similar, discuss the differences, ways of collaborating -
> and in aggregate it might lead to us finding better ways to prevent this
> happening accidentally.
> As a side note, the 'pivots' work for module recommendations, which is
> targeted to mine the forums for information - I'd really, really like to see
> if this could be applied to Projects and Issues (and groups posts, since a
> lot of newer projects get more traffic there). That way you'd get "here's
> some similar modules/issues" when you view one, or even a list displayed as
> part of the validation on node submission (did you see these yet?). That at
> least might speed up the process of discovering accidental duplication of
> work.
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