[ros-users] [Discourse.ros.org] [general] New Software Release Announcements

Rich Mattes ros.discourse at gmail.com
Tue Jan 24 17:11:43 UTC 2017

You're looking for curation, it seems.

As you said, there's a lot of metrics that can contribute to deciding which packages are well supported and can be relied upon, and which were dumped on github by a grad student 3 months before graduation and will never be touched again.  The availability of binary packages is certainly one metric, and may be a reasonably strong one.  You outlined some other ones as well.

Part of curation is conversation - sharing with the community which packages people rely on for their projects, which have been tried and should be avoided, etc.  That kind of information is hard to glean from github issues, and threads on ROS answers are hit and miss in this regard (has anyone ever asked, did someone who knows the answer see the thread, is a 5 year old answer still valid, etc.)  

I think a software release announcement list would help with the curation problem.  If software releases are being announced fairly regularly, that's a positive indicator that the software is being looked after.  Release announcement threads also give a venue for other users to make public comments on the releases, which lets us know that other people are using the package successfully.  Tagging and enforcing some kind of experimental/developmental/stable spectrum and source/binary indication would go a long way towards satisfying your concerns of only being interested in high quality software.

For what it's worth, that information could also be enforced through REP, by e.g. mandating the use of semantic versioning or adding stability and supported rosdistro metadata to package.xml files.  I think that's a separate conversation though.

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