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Re: Distribution statistics for ELPA and EMMS

From: Akib Azmain Turja
Subject: Re: Distribution statistics for ELPA and EMMS
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2023 01:00:59 +0600

Philip Kaludercic <philipk@posteo.net> writes:

> Adam Porter <adam@alphapapa.net> writes:
>> [I just noticed this message from a few months ago.]
>> On 7/16/23 21:25, Richard Stallman wrote:
>>> [[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
>>> [[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
>>> [[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]
>>> We could have two options for downloading, one which is "for a real
>>> user" and one which is "for periodic testing".
>>> The only difference would be that the former increments the user
>>> download count and the latter does not.
>> I like this idea, but it seems like it would be hard to enforce.  It
>> could even go the other way, i.e. have Emacs send a query string or
>> header when installing a package manually, which could be logged and
>> used to filter the download logs later.  But even that might be harder
>> than it seems, e.g. if I call a command like:
>>   emacs --eval "(package-install FOO)"
>> ...to non-interactively install a package into a local directory for
>> testing, how far, and in how many places, would some kind of flag need
>> to be propagated to end up in the server's logs?
> There is an inherent unreliability in these kinds of statistics that has
> to be accepted.  The question is therefore are issues like these
> significant or would they skew the results.  This has to be considered
> under a false-positive and a false-negative approach, depending on what
> we want to measure.

How are these numbers going to be useful?  This can't be a measure of

Say, for example, the package "git-commit" is 11th most downloaded
package on MELPA.  Is it really popular?  Few people install it
explicitly.  Only one package depends on it, which is Magit, a super
popular package.  So git-commit is automatically installed as a
dependency when Magit is installed.

And also, packages that get more frequent update are downloaded more
than whose update less frequently.  So its indeed possible for a less
popular but frequently updated package gets more downloaded than a
mature well written more popular package.

And also there are straight.el, Elpaca and Quelpa guys who don't use the
ELPA at all.

>                      If it is all about dopamine-boosting, I think a
> false-positive approach would be better ;^)


--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
(while t
  (package-install 'eat)
  (package-delete (cadr (assoc 'eat package-alist))))
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

Soon: Eat is the most popular terminal emulator.  xD

Akib Azmain Turja, GPG key: 70018CE5819F17A3BBA666AFE74F0EFA922AE7F5
Fediverse: akib@hostux.social
Codeberg: akib
emailselfdefense.fsf.org | "Nothing can be secure without encryption."

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