[aur-general] How to see the interest in a package (other than votes)?

Dave Reisner d at falconindy.com
Thu Feb 28 15:19:09 EST 2013

On Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 09:09:30PM +0100, oliver wrote:
> Hello,
> is it possible to see the number of downloads of packages from AUR,
> so that it can be detected, how much interest in a package exists?
> Say, there are some users who do not have a AUR-login,
> and just would install the packages that are there... which are possibly
> outdated, but would nevertheless be interested in installing
> newer package, if possible.
> If the download number is high enough, even if there
> are not much votes (because some people may only
> install stuff but are not interested in package maintaining and so on),
> then at least interest of a package might be detected this way.

This is an extremely flawed premise.

> I'm asking, because I think I can adopt some more packages,
> but would of course only pick those that I find interesting.
> They might be interesting (topic), even if I wil not use
> them by myself.
> So, from that standpoint, I would then select by my own
> interest and that of other people.
> For packages that I use by myself, of course my interest is clear,
> and I would pick such packages.

This is really strange (non-)logic. The best maintainer for a package is
one who is actively interested in the package itself and uses it. How
else could you possibly support it?

> But say there are 100 orphaned packages and 20 of them look
> interesting, but I would not use them by myself, then I would adopt
> those, who are wanted by many people.
> (And any package that I want to install myself.)
> I hope I could make ckear, why I'm asking.
> Say, there are 5 interesting packages, but 3 of them
> will not be used, because that stuff is not used any more
> (maybe because better projects are to prefer), then three don't need
> support I think.
> So, the tarball download numbers do matter in this respect.

I disagree. Downloading a tarball doesn't mean you intend to build,
install, and use it.

> Is it possible to add them to the AUR-pages of a project?

And display this how? A flat "download count" would be of little
interest or value. Would it be reset every time there's a new PKGBUILD
uploaded? Maybe only for pkgver changes? Would that include pkgrel bumps
too? What about historical data? Trending? Unique by IP? Unique by IP
within a given date range?

If you want to make download count a useful metric, you have to do a lot
more than display a raw counter. As you propose it, it's no better (and
probably worse) than a vote count.

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