Ranking Drupal Modules on Drupal.org
One of the biggest dilemmas I faced as a new Drupal developer was figuring out which module was the best to use in any given situation. Only when I finally got around some other Drupal developers did I get a real sense of which were good and which weren’t as good. The best indicator on the drupal.org site before that for me was the number of sites using it. Being a bit of a rebel, this rubs me wrong. Just because a few thousand sites are using it, doesn’t mean that it’s good, right? And what if a newer, better-developed module gets released? It would not pass that test.
I have looked at the issue queues of modules to see what kinds of problems people have had, but there’s no telling which problems are real, which were configuration problems, and who didn’t RTM (this is a PC blog).
I think that Drupal needs a better system. I looked at some other community sites and these were the results: Wordpress.org uses a 5 star rating system. jQuery.org also uses a 5 star rating system. Joomla uses a 5 star rating system. Yes, there’s a pattern alright. Joomla also had reviews available. The only counterpart on drupal.org is the issue queue.
Either of these options would be an improvement over nothing, but I think we could even go one better. A meta-moderated comment/rating system could ensure that the ratings we’re looking at are at least somewhat fair. Think Slashdot for Drupal.
Here’s how I picture it working:
- Only registered users are able to rank, naturally. A higher threshold could be created using number of commits, number of issues, uses IE, etc.
- Rankings would be per release so when a new release comes out, it frees the developer to improve his/her module without being dragged down by buggy past releases.
- It would be great to have reviews. These should also be per release for the same reasons. I’m sure some meta moderation would be needed. Although we all love our community, some of us can be less than kind faced with a problem on a production site. A five star rating would work and could even remove the users ranking from the overall rank if their review is poorly received.
- A user, logged in or not, should be able to search and sort based on ratings.
These are a few suggestions that could make using drupal.org and developing in general much smoother. Tell me what you think.