[development] Consolidating duplicate contrib modules for D7

nan wich nan_wich at bellsouth.net
Fri Dec 4 22:14:19 UTC 2009

Jerad Bitner wrote:
> Saying they have no value at all is spitting in the eye of the people who took the time to gather and implement them
You are correct, Jerad. That is not the way I intended that to come across. Certainly they have value; for example, the usage stats help me decide when to drop a release or whether to go to a major release number or minor number. But as a yardstick for whether or not I should implement a module it is pretty meaningless. I have even been the first to implement a module because its project page convinced me that it solved my problem. But then, I also jumped in and submitted patches for the parts that didn't do what I wanted; eventually, the author got even with me and made me a co-maintainer. ;-)
Issue stats are useful as well, as long as you know what you are looking for. For example is a module with 1000 open issues (e.g. Views) worse than one with no open issues? You just can't tell from that. The recent activity is useful on some modules, but that depends, again, on how the maintainer works the issue queue. I, for example, tend to work one issue at a time and commit the changes when it is solved. Others, such as Earl, work on several issues at a time and commit them all in one large chunk. Is either wrong? Nope, it's primarily a matter of volume and time available; I envy the capacity of people who can keep their focus like that.
As a maintainer, I have learned how to read to issue stats and they can help me decide on using one module over another. But the vast majority of the community does not have, and probably never will have, that knowledge.
I have just heard, way too many times, people coming to Drupal and saying "I want to install the most popular modules..." For those people, pretty much any metric we might display will be misused. Another message that needs to be repeated is "Don't let the tail wag the dog." A solution should not be installed until a problem has been identified. This is a big danger in any metrics.

Nancy E. Wichmann, PMP
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. -- Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.
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