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Software quality metrics in Debian?


I'd like to hear your opinions about an idea and propose a discussion about it 
on Debconf:

a) Dream: Debian could publish quality metrics about the packaged software in 
a machine readable format.

b) Software quality obviously is not strictly defined. There are metrics that 
could automatically be measured, but the interpretation of the metrics is 
still dependend on personal judgement.

c) Not only can the source code be measured but only the development process: 
Does the project use a (distributed) VCS, Bugtracker, Continuous integration, 
Test coverage, ...? The judgement of these facts is once again a matter of 
personal assessment.

d) Many metrics are language specific. Every language team (Perl, Java, PHP, 
Python, ...) could measure additional metrics or measure the adherence to best 
practices or common coding styles. (See e.g. the book "effective java")

e) All these things should of course be voluntary. But with time people may 
tend to prefer packages that have there software quality measurements 

f) It happens, that DDs argue against an ITP, because they don't like some 
crappy software (personal judgement) to enter Debian. I for example would 
prefer to purge all PHP and Ruby based software from history and destroy all 
evidence that it ever existed.
However only with {agreed|objective|established} software quality metrics can 
people argue about ITPs without reference to personal taste.

I already filled a BoF event about this topic for Debconf.

Thomas Koch, http://www.koch.ro

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