[ros-users] Software Status Reporting and Custom Builds

Thibault Kruse kruset at in.tum.de
Sun Sep 1 11:19:44 UTC 2013


I believe it would be helpful to state more clearly in what way any such 
data would be used, and for what purpose, and by what kind of users.

Knowing the true status of a package is a hard problem in general, it is 
IMO not solvable by simply sticking a label to a package. Any label is 
only as good and accountable as the governing authority producing those 
labels, IMO. And deciding whether to trust the guy having set the label 
can be just as hard.

As a different example, knowing a project is a project of the Apache 
Foundation tells you a lot because to become a project at Apache, you 
need to go through an incubation phase, proving that there is a 
maintainer, a community, and plentiful other of metadata to indicate 
project health.

Since we do not have that, checking the indicators of package quality 
remains a lot of hard work. One needs to check the documentation 
(complete, well-written, up-to-date), the project history, the issue 
tracker state, the amount of regression tests, which company is using a 
package, and maybe more.

There cannot be a mere "status" label to replace all that activity to 
figure out the status of a project, IMO.

Regarding Code quality/testing/metrics:
Again it would be more useful if any person having a specific interest 
in any such data would speak up for themselves. I believe this kind of 
data can only ever be valuable for the active maintainers/developers of 
a package. I cannot imagine any person saying: "I was thinking about 
using package XYZ, but since I could not see the number of compiler 
warnings/style warnings/complexity measures in the wiki, i decided 
against investigating further".

I can believe a person saying: "I'd love to introduce package XYZ to my 
company, but I struggle with persuading my boss that the quality of such 
an Open-Source package can be relied upon." But then, simple code 
metrics would probably not help with that.

Selling ROS (even for free) to a company is a marketing problem, it is 
about maintaining a community, a pretty website and advertising, finding 
reference customers speaking up for the product, and so on.

Instead of imagining a future world with useful metrics, it might help 
to point at real-world projects in the wild already using metrics, and 
copy that for ROS if enough people prefer investing time in that than 
in, say, ROS2.0.
E.g. compare the list of projects and the stats they offer at


On 31.08.2013 04:39, Edwards, Shaun M. wrote:
> All,
> We have received feedback from the users of ROS-Industrial on two 
> issues that I think are important to the larger community.  We have 
> taken preliminary steps to address these issues, but in no way would 
> we consider these the correct or permanent solutions.  It is for this 
> reason, I am address the ROS user's group to solicit feedback and 
> discussion about these two issues:
> 1.Stack/Meta-Package/Package Status -- Many people have commented that 
> it is hard to know the true status of a package (whether the code is 
> complete or in development).  The existence of a wiki is not an 
> indicator, as several packages in ROS (including some of our own) are 
> released early (i.e. agile development).  For this reason we have 
> started identifying the status of a package on our wiki pages (see: 
> http://ros.org/wiki/Industrial/Software_Status ).  Here is an example 
> of a stack/meta-package that has been marked with its current status: 
> http://ros.org/wiki/industrial_core .  This is only a start to what I 
> think needs to be done, but it solves and urgent need for us and all 
> the developers that are using our software.  I would like to see this 
> status or something similar used by the larger community (what to you 
> guys think).
> 2.Code quality/testing/metrics -- Several users have asked for this 
> type of information about our packages.  This is one of the (not the 
> only) reasons we set up a Jenkins server specifically for 
> ROS-Industrial (see 
> http://rosindustrial.org/news/2013/8/13/jenkins-system-for-ros-industrial-repositories 
> ).  The ROS community already utilizes Jenkins servers for continuous 
> integration and debain builds, but code metrics are missing (even some 
> as simple as how many compiler warnings are generated).  We would like 
> to see this kind of data rolled into official ROS Jenkins servers.  Is 
> this a need for those in the large community?
> Thanks for you time,
> Shaun Edwards
> Senior Research Engineer
> Manufacturing System Department
> http://robotics.swri.org
> http://rosindustrial.swri.org/
> http://ros.swri.org <http://ros.swri.org/>
> Join the ROS-Industrial Developers List 
> <https://groups.google.com/group/swri-ros-pkg-dev/boxsubscribe>
> Southwest Research Institute
> 210-522-3277
> _______________________________________________
> ros-users mailing list
> ros-users at code.ros.org
> http://lists.ros.org/mailman/listinfo/ros-users

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.ros.org/pipermail/ros-users/attachments/20130901/ff5571f0/attachment.html>

More information about the ros-users mailing list