[Haskell-cafe] Package documentation complaints -- and a suggestion

Malcolm Wallace malcolm.wallace at me.com
Sun Oct 30 11:26:09 CET 2011

> The problem isn't social pressure to be stable, it's the ambiguity of what "stable" means. If Hackage 2 institutes a policy whereby things claiming to be stable are treated better, then "stable" is likely to become the new "experimental".

I'd say, rather than rely on social agreement on what terms mean, let's just collect lots of automated metrics, and present them as extra information on the hackage pages.  At work, we have all modules scored by hlint metrics, and doclint metrics.  (Doclint complains about modules without a module header comment, and type signatures without haddock comments.)  We count infractions and have a "top ten" hall-of-shame, as well as placing the scores in the module documentation itself.  We also have a "fingerprint" for every release (basically the API type signatures), and the size of fingerprint-diffs between releases is a rough measure of API-churn.

Some of these measures are designed to place social pressure on authors to improve their code/documentation, but they have a dual role in allowing users to get a feel for the quality of the code they are using, without imposing any external hierarchy on which metrics are more important in any given situation.


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