Is the module list useful?

Is the PAUSE module list (www.cpan.org/modules/00modlist.long.html) useful anymore? Do any cpan clients, or other tools, make use of it?

I've seen many users (via http://www.nntp.perl.org/group/perl.modules) isubmit their module for registration immediately after upload, so there seems to be an impression that it is a necessary step, despite the PAUSE documentation saying it's not (however it is quite vague as to *how* useful this measure actually is).

This list doesn't even seem to be up to date - e.g. I don't see my module Test::LWP::UserAgent in the list, despite registering it many months ago.

9 Comments

No, it is not useful. Here is a thread from 2004 where I said the same thing.

http://www.nntp.perl.org/group/perl.module-authors/2004/08/msg2796.html

It predated having decent search engines.

I think it's completely outlived its usefulness and should be shut down so we stop confusing people into thinking it means anything.

Frankly, I only think it's survived this long because some (other) PAUSE admins have been willing to keep doing the moderation work.

David

Isn't the 03modlist also derived from the same registration data? Is that file relevant either?

The "Module List" is no longer maintained, but that's a different thing than module registration which has so many other things going on. Many of the meta data things people are inventing new systems for are already there as part of module registration and it would be nice to leverage something that can have project meta data instead of looking inside a file in a distribution. It's also a way to interact with PAUSE about that project.

It's "useless" in the same way that every thing we do to gather meta data, e.g. CPAN Ratings, is useless. However, I think that many modules have improved through the process as a team of knowledgeable workers have been able to suggest better names, collaborations, and many other things that new authors might have missed. We don't prevent anyone from doing anything, but we step in with advice when we can.

The other PAUSE admin that David mentions is me. And, it doesn't look like I got to the request for Test::LWP::UserAgent. Those expire after awhile so I can't do anything about that now.

I suggest separating the "Module list" and "Module registration". The list curating by people is gone and the one compiled through information that a module registration collected is no longer maintained. That the permission is historically called "modulelist" shouldn't be used to confuse those two.

The list is different than module registration through which PAUSE can maintain meta data about a project (rather than a particular release). That is public, even if no one is making lists out of it.

As it is now, nothing bad happens if you do it, I'm handling the workload, and PAUSE would have to make changes to make it all disappear. I think there are better uses of time then taking about all this (every three years).

The list in its current form isn't useful, but there are parts of it that could be usefully re-imagined.

One good part of registration was getting feedback on the idea, suggestions for naming, and pointing out potential existing modules. PrePAN is the closest we have to this, but it hasn't really taken off. If this could become a bit more front and center, maybe it could play this role. Fo r example, when someone registers with PAUSE, perhaps they should be directed at PrePAN.

The other useful part was getting people to provide metadata about their module. For whatever reason people don't provide / maintain metadata for their dists. Perhaps we should separate metadata from dists, or at least allow anyone to provide it (if it hasn't been provided by the author). Crowd-sourcing the metadata, via services like MetaCPAN and others, is the way to go, I think.

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