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Re: debtags facet for sections (Re: Sections - especially section:kde and section:gnome)

On Thu, Jan 08, 2009 at 07:59:32PM -0800, Russ Allbery wrote:

> This is one of the reasons why I find working on debtags for my packages
> rather unrewarding.  I have no real indication that the decisions I'm
> making about what tags make sense have much in common with the decisions
> everyone else makes and that therefore the resulting classification will
> be consistent.  There are some that are obvious and some that the debtags
> system provides assistance for, but there are a lot of borderline cases
> where I question the usefulness compared to a centrally-administered
> system with some set of people who imposes consistency.

All very true.  Unfortunately, the sheer quantity of data to be edited
in debtags makes it rather impossible to be handled by a central
committee that can ensure consistency.

I've tried to mitigate this by experimenting with data mining algorithms
that look for patterns and feed them back to the taggers in the form of
suggestions, but this is still very far from achieving any sort of

What I intend to do is to form subcommittees by broad topics: "The Gnome
Guys", "The KDE Guys", "The Web Developers", "The Photographers" and so
on.  Or "People who take care of tag X".

Such groups should have the ultimate say on a set of tags, including
being able to say "these packages are ok and reviewed now, all anonymous
edits of our tags are now pending revision from us".

This needs work, and the software currently running
debtags.alioth.debian.org can't sanely be extended to do it.  A rewrite
is in order and planned, but it's unfortunately a one man job, and it
takes time.

> For the most part, since debtags are hints, it doesn't matter as much, but
> there are a lot of very useful actions that can be taken on sections right
> now and I don't want to lose that.  (Marking all packages in libs as
> auto-installed, for instance.)

Indeed, while some sections are next to useless ("mail" comes to mind),
some have very clearly defined meanings.

The role::* tags were designed to cope with this use case, but indeed
until there is some consistency enforced, they can't really replace



GPG key: 1024D/797EBFAB 2000-12-05 Enrico Zini <enrico@debian.org>

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