Saturday, June 13, 2009

Module Rank and Informed Choice

There is much talk recently about CPAN and how to improve it. I firmly believe that initiatives like CPAN Top 100 will eventually lead to some good, Page Rank like, measures of if not module quality then at least module utility. People vote with their legs - they use other modules in their own productions and we don't need any other voting mechanisms. After all Google does quite well with Page Rank, much better than the human edited Internet Directories (like the original Yahoo or Open Directory).

But it all still relies on people choosing the right modules for their own projects - I believe this is a good assumption, the popular "The Wisdom of Crowds" shows why - but still it can be improved by people doing more informed choice. This was my motivation behind my API design blog post. Design of APIs is tricky and subtle and there are things that you just don't spot until it is too late, or alternatively there are deficiencies that are invisible for the seasoned user because he is used to the quirks, he internalized them and he uses the API automatically without thinking.

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