[Catalog-sig] Please turn off ratings

James Bennett ubernostrum at gmail.com
Wed Apr 6 09:21:32 CEST 2011

On Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 1:13 AM, Terry Reedy <tjreedy at udel.edu> wrote:
> But it seems to me likely biased, so I am not convinced yet.

There is not and never will be a sampling of "end users" that will be
widely accepted by this list. This is a fact that we need to accept
and move past, largely because such sampling is a red herring.

> An avalanche follows. It mostly consists of people who did not ratings
> before saying they do not like ratings now, and perhaps even less. Surprise.
> And there is some rehashing of the same old arguments.

When I look at this and the original threads, I see a variety of
opinions. There are people (I'm one of them) who feel PyPI should not
be in the business of hosting a rating system, and should simply stick
to being the Python Package Index. There are people who feel there
could be a useful rating implementation, but that the one PyPI has is
not such an implementation. And there's Martin.

There seems to be virtually universal agreement that -- if PyPI is to
host ratings -- the current implementation is flawed at best. This is
a strong argument for scrapping the implementation and doing the
legwork to get something that's actually demonstrably helpful. It is
not an argument for keeping the status quo.

But that, ultimately, is what the problem is here. What we're seeing
is not a debate or discussion. What we're seeing is one person with
authority -- Martin -- stonewalling the rest of the community in an
attempt to preserve the status quo. No amount of polling of users will
establish the utility or desirability of ratings; we've seen ample
evidence of that in the fact that A) allegedly ratings are popular
enough to win a poll, but B) ratings are so unpopular that practically
nobody actually submits ratings. Suggestions of further polling are
simply a stalling tactic, dragging this out long enough that the
people who don't like ratings will simply give up from frustration or
exhaustion, at which point things stay as they are.

Add to that the fact that, as I've repeatedly pointed out, package
maintainers -- the people who make PyPI worthwhile -- are essentially
being told that their concerns will be ignored, and that any arguments
package maintainers make against ratings (or, in the beginning,
comments -- remember, when we asked for the ability to toggle them we
were equated to government censors) were simply shouted down as a
failure on *our* part to compromise, and, well, this isn't a pretty

This is a horrifically dysfunctional way to manage a valuable
community resource. It needs to stop. It needs to stop now. I don't
care how bad a taste that ends up leaving in someone's mouth, or how
many emails René has to passive-aggressively complain about receiving.
I care about the future of PyPI and the communities -- BOTH developers
and end users -- it serves, and right now that future looks awfully

"Bureaucrat Conrad, you are technically correct -- the best kind of correct."

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