October 03, 2010

Here's a question. Why shouldn't Ubuntu's Synaptic package manager / package store count the number of people who are using each package? Or allow people to vote for packages that they find good / useful?


John Powers said...

I'm in favor of both counting and allowing people to vote.

Entertaining the shouldn't-premise the only thing I think of is that it might increase visibility of applications to patent trolls.

One of the features of the now defunct Omidyar.net social network was a "feedback bank." This feature was the subject of lots of discussion and dispute. There were many suggestions to tweek it. However it always impressed me with its simplicity and utility.

I'm new to Ubuntu and of course find the package store great. And I enjoy rough and tumble discussion about Ubuntu and Linux on various forums. It seems quite possible that Ubuntu will help Linux distributions scale quickly--I know this has been predicted for a while and hasn't really happened. Anyhow some sort of feedback mechanism seems to have advantages in advance of more widespread adoption.

The political blog TPM recently posted graphs of the browsers people use to access the site and the breakdown of OS. Linux doesn't even rate a mention, but iPhone, iPad and Android do.

Android applications have a reputation problem. Most think Android will scale. I think that some sort of feedback bank would be useful in reputation management.

I think it significant that MS Live is sending blogs to WordPress as it seems a straight forward admission that users are in a multi-platform ecology.

It would seem useful to Microsoft have ways of making their dominance visible by showing counts of users of their products.

But a system of "votes" or positive and negative feedback is something much more powerful. It's a currency something users can have and spend.

What's fun to imagine is ways emerging for users to exchange reputational currency across the platform divides.

Manuel J. Simoni said...

Hi Phil,

this is already done to some extent with the popularity-contest package, which is an install option for Ubuntu and Debian.