[Rubygems-developers] Suggestions: categories and querying

Chad Fowler chad at chadfowler.com
Fri Sep 17 09:30:30 EDT 2004

On Sep 17, 2004, at 6:01 AM, Eivind Eklund wrote:

> There are two places that could do this well at the moment: RAA (if
> somebody adopted doing the librarian work for it), and RPA (which has
> Mauricio as it's librarian already).  I think RubyGems' best bet is to
> NOT add categorization at all at this time, but instead cooperate
> closely with one of the above, and help them generate really good
> categorization, and when good categories are available, start helping
> authors find categories for their software.
> Anything else is doomed to chaos and a false sense of being helpful.

Thanks for the long and obviously well thought out response, Eivind.  I 
can't say I completely agree with you, but I _do_ agree that RubyGems 
should not add any kind of categorization right now (or possibly ever). 
  I also believe that rpa-base should not add categorization.  I think 
it's in the scope of something at the RPA level, but should be 
completely left out of the _packages_ themselves.

I would be open to adding keywords to gems, but I would want to think 
it through a lot more.  Keywords may be single-level hierarchies, but 
being single-level (and therefore not _really_ hierarchies), they don't 
carry with them the same commitment to a structure that may or may not 
be right.  They can be used to help someone find a library or 
application without forcing a rigid classification system.

Finally, I'm not convinced that a hierarchy is the way to go at all.  I 
would even go so far as to say that hierarchical classification for 
this kind of computer-based purpose is obsolete.  And, as you've 
pointed out, they are almost unusable for self-organizing 


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