[Rubygems-developers] Suggestion: RAA-like meta-data

Chad Fowler chad at chadfowler.com
Sat Mar 20 13:39:09 EST 2004

On Mar 20, 2004, at 5:39 AM, Gavin Sinclair wrote:

> As gems become more common, we will need ways to categorise them.  A
> typical user scenario would be:
> 1. "Hmmm... I wonder what categories there are."
>      gem --list-categories
> 2. "Ah!  There's a category for accessing databases; that's what I
>    want!"
>      gem --remote-list --category database
> 3. "Cool, I'll install package xyz"
>      # We know this bit.
> Not urgent, but worth thinking about.  If it's easy to implement, it's
> better to get gem-creators in the habit of categorising their stuff
> sooner rather than later.
> Thoughts:
> 1. Categories should be cenrally managed, ensuring consistency.
> 2. Packages can have multiple categories.
> 3. Categories can be hierachical, like the RAA, but searching for one
>    should be liberal (e.g. fuzzy string matching).

I've been waffling back and forth on this issue.  Part of me--and right 
now, the more dominant part--feels that category related information 
should be orthogonal to the package manager.  But, then I also feel 
like letting gems metadata completely drive the RAA would be a chance 
at really cleaning the RAA up in a much needed way.

Putting that aside, if we were to do something like this, I would vote 
against hierarchical categories in favor of keywords.  I feel like 
trying to force category standards on developers would be too limiting. 
  Keywords (with suggested close matches) could help avoid "losing" 
packages down unintuitive branches of the hierarchy.

I might actually be more easily convinced that keywords belong in a gem 
than a hierarchical category.

What do you all think?


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