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Mystified by perlratings

by throop (Chaplain)
on Dec 20, 2006 at 15:05 UTC ( #590916=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

throop has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:


I am mystified by CPAN Ratings. I have some old code that generates most of its output in HTML (much of which was written under Perl 4.X). I am considering replacing the old HTML-generating code with CPAN modules. My requirements aren't real specific — I wanted to browse the better HTML modules and see what was there I could use.

When I search for 'HTML' at CPAN Ratings, I get a long list of modules. None of them actually seem to have any ratings, just opportunities for me to rate them. What I want to see is a list of HTML modules, sorted by rating.

I think I've missed something important about CPAN Ratings. What?


Update: fixed broken link.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Mystified by perlratings
by Fletch (Bishop) on Dec 20, 2006 at 15:25 UTC

    Possibly what you've missed is that people don't really use it and you're probably not going to get a huge amount of information out of it.

    (Not that that's a good thing, or in any way your fault; just pointing it out :)

    Update: Bah, missing "is" before "that". This update no verb.

      Possibly what you've missed that people don't really use it and you're probably not going to get a huge amount of information out of it

      I personally think that's a fair appraisal ... but if we're going to go with the "ratings" gimmick, then surely we should be able to view a category ranked "by rating" ?

      Can that be done ? ... if so, how ? (I think that throop was really after an answer to those questions.)

Re: Mystified by perlratings
by rinceWind (Monsignor) on Dec 20, 2006 at 16:53 UTC

    I dislike cpanrantings for the simple reason that there is no author's right of reply, or place to add comments. I don't find the reviews that useful. The module reviews here on Perlmonks are much better, as they are threads in their own right.

    I've had one of my own modules slated, but I have no way of forc^Wpersuading the reviewer to retract his comments. I have posted a review of my own as the author, and have voted the original review as "not useful".

    When looking for a module, I would never use the search facility on, but use, read through the pod to form an impression of whether I like the module. I'd also check the release history, CPAN testers, and RT, linked from the CPAN module page to see the status of any bugs.

    If I needed a second opinion I would try google and Perlmonks super search to find out what others think of the module; possibly ask on IRC if I was at home. If I've drawn a blank, I might even post a question to seekers of Perl wisdom.


    Oh Lord, won’t you burn me a Knoppix CD ?
    My friends all rate Windows, I must disagree.
    Your powers of persuasion will set them all free,
    So oh Lord, won’t you burn me a Knoppix CD ?
    (Missquoting Janis Joplin)

Re: Mystified by perlratings
by rhesa (Vicar) on Dec 20, 2006 at 15:42 UTC
    If most CPAN users are like me, they use a large number of modules, but hardly ever rate any of them. I can't speak for anyone else, but I simply don't consider myself a good review writer. As such, it doesn't even occur to me to write a review.
      It's a chicken || egg problem. If I find to be useful, then I'm willing to contribute. But if I can't use what's already there... Why would I contribute to a project that doesn't strike me as useful? If I'm in the habit of checking out cpanratings before I use a module, then I'll probably put in a review of the last module I used.

      The overall usefulness of the tool would be improved by being able to filter and sort - e.g. showing only results that have ratings.


        You might contribute also out of idealism, e.g. because you have the strong belief that it will be useful one day. I guess that's the fuel on which every site runs after bootstrapping, then for a while. If after the initial idealism there's no broader acceptance, then either there's something fundamentally wrong about some impotant bits of it, or it's just not needed.

        (I wish I would have been here when perlmonks did bootstrap - I still wonder about how they (you) managed to give this site a going. Is it the Everything Engine? the idea of combining a newsgroup-like thing with posting (node) reputation and personal XP? Is it that you were just so smart people, and high quality coders? all together, I think.)


        _($_=" "x(1<<5)."?\n".q·/)Oo.  G°\        /
                                      /\_¯/(q    /
        ----------------------------  \__(m.====·.(_("always off the crowd"))."·
        ");sub _{s./.($e="'Itrs `mnsgdq Gdbj O`qkdq")=~y/"-y/#-z/;$e.e && print}
      When I install a new module, I may think there are several implementation issues wrong with it, but I still won't write it down in a review on CPAN-ratings, well, because they stick. The review and rating (stars) would still be there after the author fixed it, and I don't like that thought. Why would a later release get fewer stars, because of issues in an older version?
Re: Mystified by perlratings
by jettero (Monsignor) on Dec 20, 2006 at 15:24 UTC
    I think most things simply aren't rated...


Re: Mystified by perlratings
by ferreira (Chaplain) on Dec 20, 2006 at 16:06 UTC

    I also miss that many good modules deserving rating are not reviewed in CPAN Ratings, just as it would also be handy to have fair critics for many poor modules out there. The problem is that not enough people care or have the time and disposition to write — but that's an ordinary happening with volunteer-maintained services. I feel that most CPAN reviews at the site are serious and worthy reading and taking into consideration. Both good and bad reviews usually help me understand what to expect from a module or distribution.

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