[Catalog-sig] More problems with the comments system...

Martijn Faassen faassen at startifact.com
Wed Nov 25 22:18:14 CET 2009

Martin v. Löwis wrote:
>> Of course often updating the long description is an alternative to doing
>> so. But this would have been quite a bit more work than placing a
>> comment; the long description of this package is generated by setup.py
>> of the package, and it'd meant having to check out the package and doing
>> a new description upload. I just wanted to spend a minute to provide
>> helpful information.
> Assuming your comment wasn't actually removed, this specific need would
> go away, right?

Yes, though I must say I spent quite a few minutes hunting through the 
user interface to try to figure out how I could add a new comment until 
I figured out it would only work for those packages I am not a 
maintainer of. :)

> Notice that you don't have to run the complete upload process again if
> you want to edit the long description - you can easily do that over the
> web page as well.

I know that, but then the information will be lost next time I do an 
upload, unless I also add it to the version control system too. I don't 
want to maintain information in two places if I can avoid it.

>> "If you want to comment on this package, please use the following forum:
>> <mailing list address or http link>."
> Now, *that* is something that I would consider appropriate for
> long_description.

I think this goes more into a discussion about metadata. Author email 
and a mailing list or forum address should be separate categories. But I 
think I need to take that up in the distutils-sig.

> Notice that the comment facility in PyPI is quite different from posting
> to a mailing list. The audience for the mailing list are
> developers/authors of the package, and current users. The (intended) use
> of the PyPI commenting facility is to address prospective users of the
> package, which want to know whether the package is any good.


Though in reality these use cases flow into each other:

* see whether a package is any good

* reading the mailing list

* feedback to the authors.

>> But perhaps there's a better idea than that: it would be useful to
>> provide a "feedback" functionality for a package. This is separate from
>> comments: comments are meant to be read by others. Feedback is supposed
>> to go to the package maintainers but doesn't need to be shown.
> Again, that's (yet) another feature - messages that are primarily
> addressed at the package authors.
> I'm not sure many package authors would like that (and the poll
> indicates that the option "mail to package owner only" receives
> little interest). They either have bug reporting and support channels
> already, or they would prefer to get such messages in direct email;
> some may not want to be bothered with package feedback at all.

But since the package owners do get these messages now too, they'll 
undoubtedly be used as a feedback mechanism as well.



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