FAQ
30. Trove-Like Categories

Proposal:

Add Freshmeat.net or SourceForge-like trove categories with topics
programming languages, etc. As opposed to keywords/labels/tags they are a
nested tree, and will also be limited to a given list. This will help in
being able to better browse CPAN instead of the old and heavily
under-maintained long modules list. For example "Programming Language ::
Lisp", "Intended Audience :: Emacs Users", "Operating System :: GNU",
"Topic :: Editors".

Shlomi Fish] wrote http://tinyurl.com/ylp4wbz, a functional spec for the
proposal of enhancing the CPAN classification] which may be read for
further enlightenment.

Comments:

* Freshmeat no longer has Trove categories, they were replaced by tags.
--Chorny 15:40, 27 September 2009 (BST)

Search Discussions

  • Hans Dieter Pearcey at Oct 9, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Excerpts from David Golden's message of Fri Oct 09 07:55:12 -0400 2009:
    30. Trove-Like Categories

    Proposal:

    Add Freshmeat.net or SourceForge-like trove categories with topics
    programming languages, etc. As opposed to keywords/labels/tags they are a
    nested tree, and will also be limited to a given list. This will help in
    being able to better browse CPAN instead of the old and heavily
    under-maintained long modules list. For example "Programming Language ::
    Lisp", "Intended Audience :: Emacs Users", "Operating System :: GNU",
    "Topic :: Editors".
    "Move the modules list into META files". No thanks.

    hdp.
  • Tim Bunce at Oct 9, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    On Fri, Oct 09, 2009 at 08:21:30AM -0400, Hans Dieter Pearcey wrote:
    Excerpts from David Golden's message of Fri Oct 09 07:55:12 -0400 2009:
    30. Trove-Like Categories

    Proposal:

    Add Freshmeat.net or SourceForge-like trove categories with topics
    programming languages, etc. As opposed to keywords/labels/tags they are a
    nested tree, and will also be limited to a given list. This will help in
    being able to better browse CPAN instead of the old and heavily
    under-maintained long modules list. For example "Programming Language ::
    Lisp", "Intended Audience :: Emacs Users", "Operating System :: GNU",
    "Topic :: Editors".
    "Move the modules list into META files". No thanks.
    The "Module List" (by which I mean the list of "registered" modules) is
    effectvely dead. Only a very small proportion of modules are registered.

    And yet the 'registered modules category' links, that form the bulk of the
    http://search.cpan.org/ home page, have over 22,000 page views a month![1]

    Those users are seeing a narrow and distored view of CPAN. I think it's
    important to fix this. So important that I'd be happy if those links
    were simply removed today. They're doing more harm than good right now.

    I don't have a strong opinion about Trove-Like Categories vs tags.
    Either would need careful thought about the human aspects of their use,
    from a lazy authors point of view. I'd also observe that categories
    could be implemented as 'machine tags' ala flikr [2]

    Tim.

    [1] According to google-analytics: "Unique Pageviews" of /modlist/...
    since Sept 8th.
    [2] http://www.flickr.com/groups/api/discuss/72157594497877875/
  • Graham Barr at Oct 9, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    On Oct 9, 2009, at 6:55 AM, David Golden wrote:

    30. Trove-Like Categories

    Proposal:

    Add Freshmeat.net or SourceForge-like trove categories with topics
    programming languages, etc. As opposed to keywords/labels/tags they
    are a
    nested tree, and will also be limited to a given list. This will
    help in
    being able to better browse CPAN instead of the old and heavily
    under-maintained long modules list. For example "Programming
    Language ::
    Lisp", "Intended Audience :: Emacs Users", "Operating System :: GNU",
    "Topic :: Editors".
    Many things on the web are moving more towards the use of free form
    tagging than
    lists of specific categories.

    -1

    Graham.
  • Shlomi Fish at Oct 10, 2009 at 10:57 am
    Hi all!
    On Friday 09 Oct 2009 16:34:27 Graham Barr wrote:
    On Oct 9, 2009, at 6:55 AM, David Golden wrote:
    30. Trove-Like Categories

    Proposal:

    Add Freshmeat.net or SourceForge-like trove categories with topics
    programming languages, etc. As opposed to keywords/labels/tags they
    are a
    nested tree, and will also be limited to a given list. This will
    help in
    being able to better browse CPAN instead of the old and heavily
    under-maintained long modules list. For example "Programming
    Language ::
    Lisp", "Intended Audience :: Emacs Users", "Operating System :: GNU",
    "Topic :: Editors".
    Many things on the web are moving more towards the use of free form
    tagging than
    lists of specific categories.

    -1
    You did not explain why they are bad.

    While this may be true, I still think categories have their advantages. For
    example, they prevent typos in tags, or a proliferation of similar, but non-
    identical tags. And they also allow for a unique URL to a category as opposed
    to a hello+goodbye+farewell / hello+farewell+goodbye / goodbye+farewell+hello
    proliferation.

    For example, one of the reasons I switched away from Google Reader back to
    KDE's Akregator was the fact it used tags for classificiation. So every feed
    was placed in several places in the tree-like display, and applying it to
    several tags caused it to be placed in two or more different places there. I
    could nest a tree conclusively. So I left it with disgust, and frankly KDE's
    akregator is much better.

    With all due respect to tags, categories still have their advantage, and
    should be considered despite their lack of popularity among the latest fads on
    the web. One of the reason tags are popular may be due to an easier
    implementation and maintenance.

    In any case, Wikipedia for example, still has user-maintained categories:

    * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Perl

    * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Free_software_programmed_in_C

    * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Cross-platform_software

    Regards,

    Shlomi Fish

    Graham.
    --
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Shlomi Fish http://www.shlomifish.org/
    Interview with Ben Collins-Sussman - http://shlom.in/sussman

    Chuck Norris read the entire English Wikipedia in 24 hours. Twice.
  • David Golden at Oct 10, 2009 at 11:13 am

    On Sat, Oct 10, 2009 at 6:57 AM, Shlomi Fish wrote:
    One of the reason tags are popular may be due to an easier
    implementation and maintenance.
    +1

    -- David
  • Ricardo Signes at Oct 10, 2009 at 11:50 am
    * Shlomi Fish [2009-10-10T06:57:11]
    With all due respect to tags, categories still have their advantage, and
    should be considered despite their lack of popularity among the latest fads
    on the web. One of the reason tags are popular may be due to an easier
    They've been considered. That's what these emails have been.

    --
    rjbs
  • David Golden at Oct 31, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    On Sat, Oct 10, 2009 at 7:49 AM, Ricardo Signes wrote:
    * Shlomi Fish [2009-10-10T06:57:11]
    With all due respect to tags, categories still have their advantage, and
    should be considered despite their lack of popularity among the latest fads
    on the web. One of the reason tags are popular may be due to an easier
    They've been considered.  That's what these emails have been.
    Given that the META spec already has "keywords" for this sort of
    thing, I've written a minor patch to add them to the synopsis, since
    people may not realize they field exists. I've also suggested they
    not include whitespace.

    http://github.com/dagolden/cpan-meta-spec/tree/30-keywords

    -- David
  • Steffen Mueller at Oct 9, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    David Golden wrote:
    30. Trove-Like Categories
    Opposed. Keywords-set-by-authors don't work very well. We already have
    the underused user-tagging of modules.

    Steffen
  • Shlomi Fish at Oct 10, 2009 at 11:15 am

    On Friday 09 Oct 2009 16:53:47 Steffen Mueller wrote:
    David Golden wrote:
    30. Trove-Like Categories
    Opposed. Keywords-set-by-authors don't work very well. We already have
    the underused user-tagging of modules.
    There are already keywords-set-by-authors. They are under-used but with some
    infrastructure changes - like support in CPAN interfaces, and checking for
    them in CPANTS, etc. we can make them more popular. As for the user-tagging of
    modules - that was only implemented in cpanforum, out of the direct awareness
    of people on http://search.cpan.org/ ("Out of sight - out of mind."), and it
    has since then broke there, with the maintainer of cpanforum lacking some
    resources or other to fix it.

    I think we should have them directly on the CPAN interface instead of each
    page on s.cpan.o / kobesearch directing to many different resources. That was
    one of the aims of http://cpanhq.org/ , which is currently under work by
    bricas and other people (including me). Currently the site just shows a
    "Coming soon" page, because they are looking for someone to redesign the web-
    interface (which is fine, IMO), and don't want to put it there in its current
    state. I think one bird in the hand is better than two in the bush, but I have
    yet to convince them.

    Regards,

    Shlomi Fish

    --
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Shlomi Fish http://www.shlomifish.org/
    The Case for File Swapping - http://shlom.in/file-swap

    Chuck Norris read the entire English Wikipedia in 24 hours. Twice.
  • Ricardo Signes at Oct 9, 2009 at 3:03 pm
    * David Golden [2009-10-09T07:55:12]
    30. Trove-Like Categories
    Seems like a organizational step backwards.

    Opposed.


    --
    rjbs
  • David Golden at Oct 9, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    On Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 7:55 AM, David Golden wrote:
    30. Trove-Like Categories

    Proposal:

    Add Freshmeat.net or SourceForge-like trove categories with topics
    programming languages, etc.  As opposed to keywords/labels/tags they are a
    nested tree, and will also be limited to a given list. This will help in
    being able to better browse CPAN instead of the old and heavily
    under-maintained long modules list. For example "Programming Language ::
    Lisp", "Intended Audience :: Emacs Users", "Operating System :: GNU",
    "Topic :: Editors".

    Shlomi Fish] wrote http://tinyurl.com/ylp4wbz, a functional spec for the
    proposal of enhancing the CPAN classification] which may be read for
    further enlightenment.

    Comments:

    * Freshmeat no longer has Trove categories, they were replaced by tags.
    --Chorny 15:40, 27 September 2009 (BST)
    -1 for structured categories

    +1 for freeform author keywords
  • David E. Wheeler at Oct 9, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    On Oct 9, 2009, at 2:06 PM, David Golden wrote:

    * Freshmeat no longer has Trove categories, they were replaced by
    tags.
    --Chorny 15:40, 27 September 2009 (BST)
    -1 for structured categories

    +1 for freeform author keywords
    +1 Just what I was going to say.

    David
  • Randy Kobes at Oct 10, 2009 at 3:49 am

    On Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 5:18 PM, David E. Wheeler wrote:

    On Oct 9, 2009, at 2:06 PM, David Golden wrote:

    * Freshmeat no longer has Trove categories, they were replaced by tags.
    --Chorny 15:40, 27 September 2009 (BST)
    -1 for structured categories

    +1 for freeform author keywords
    +1 Just what I was going to say.

    David
    +1 for freeform

    --
    best regards,
    Randy
  • Shlomi Fish at Oct 10, 2009 at 11:06 am

    On Friday 09 Oct 2009 23:06:25 David Golden wrote:
    On Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 7:55 AM, David Golden wrote:
    30. Trove-Like Categories

    Proposal:

    Add Freshmeat.net or SourceForge-like trove categories with topics
    programming languages, etc. As opposed to keywords/labels/tags they are
    a nested tree, and will also be limited to a given list. This will help
    in being able to better browse CPAN instead of the old and heavily
    under-maintained long modules list. For example "Programming Language ::
    Lisp", "Intended Audience :: Emacs Users", "Operating System :: GNU",
    "Topic :: Editors".

    Shlomi Fish] wrote http://tinyurl.com/ylp4wbz, a functional spec for the
    proposal of enhancing the CPAN classification] which may be read for
    further enlightenment.

    Comments:

    * Freshmeat no longer has Trove categories, they were replaced by tags.
    --Chorny 15:40, 27 September 2009 (BST)
    -1 for structured categories

    +1 for freeform author keywords
    Just a note - I did not intend the categories to replace the author keywords,
    but rather to complement them. At the moment the categories at:

    http://search.cpan.org/

    are a joke and give a very distorted view of CPAN (I could not get any of my
    original modules to enter the long modules list, while other people have for
    more recent submissions), and if we will allow people to browse the CPAN by
    category (like http://dmoz.org/ ), it will be a huge usability improvement.

    This is instead of giving only a huge tag cloud which would be hard to find
    stuff in, and will be more disorganised.

    Regards,

    Shlomi Fish

    --
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Shlomi Fish http://www.shlomifish.org/
    Funny Anti-Terrorism Story - http://shlom.in/enemy

    Chuck Norris read the entire English Wikipedia in 24 hours. Twice.
  • Hans Dieter Pearcey at Oct 10, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Excerpts from Shlomi Fish's message of Sat Oct 10 07:05:29 -0400 2009:
    if we will allow people to browse the CPAN by
    category (like http://dmoz.org/ ), it will be a huge usability improvement.
    Does anyone actually use dmoz anymore? The last time I stumbled across it was
    2003 and it wasn't very helpful then. I don't think it's worth emulating.

    hdp.
  • Barbie at Oct 31, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    On Fri, Oct 09, 2009 at 05:06:25PM -0400, David Golden wrote:
    On Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 7:55 AM, David Golden wrote:
    30. Trove-Like Categories

    Proposal:

    Add Freshmeat.net or SourceForge-like trove categories with topics
    programming languages, etc.  As opposed to keywords/labels/tags they are a
    nested tree, and will also be limited to a given list. This will help in
    being able to better browse CPAN instead of the old and heavily
    under-maintained long modules list. For example "Programming Language ::
    Lisp", "Intended Audience :: Emacs Users", "Operating System :: GNU",
    "Topic :: Editors".

    Shlomi Fish] wrote http://tinyurl.com/ylp4wbz, a functional spec for the
    proposal of enhancing the CPAN classification] which may be read for
    further enlightenment.

    Comments:

    * Freshmeat no longer has Trove categories, they were replaced by tags.
    --Chorny 15:40, 27 September 2009 (BST)
    -1 for structured categories Agreed.
    +1 for freeform author keywords
    Not convinced they are need at the META level.

    I like the idea of tagging in some form, but seems better placed at the
    search level, rather than an author having to think of all the possible
    keywords someone might use. Allowing users to tag them, with possible
    admins to ensure that mispelt or similar keywords are remapped, seems
    better placed.

    I guess the author suggesting a few as a starting point is fine, but I
    worry that some may try spamming the complete set of existing keywords.

    Cheers,
    Barbie.
    --
    Birmingham Perl Mongers <http://birmingham.pm.org>
    Memoirs Of A Roadie <http://barbie.missbarbell.co.uk>
    CPAN Testers Blog <http://blog.cpantesters.org>
    YAPC Conference Surveys <http://yapc-surveys.org>
  • Shlomi Fish at Oct 10, 2009 at 11:37 am

    On Friday 09 Oct 2009 13:55:12 David Golden wrote:
    30. Trove-Like Categories

    Proposal:

    Add Freshmeat.net or SourceForge-like trove categories with topics
    programming languages, etc. As opposed to keywords/labels/tags they are a
    nested tree, and will also be limited to a given list. This will help in
    being able to better browse CPAN instead of the old and heavily
    under-maintained long modules list. For example "Programming Language ::
    Lisp", "Intended Audience :: Emacs Users", "Operating System :: GNU",
    "Topic :: Editors".

    Shlomi Fish] wrote http://tinyurl.com/ylp4wbz, a functional spec for the
    proposal of enhancing the CPAN classification] which may be read for
    further enlightenment.

    Comments:

    * Freshmeat no longer has Trove categories, they were replaced by tags.
    --Chorny 15:40, 27 September 2009 (BST)
    I should note that now that I think about it, we can build categories above
    the author keywords by doing something like:

    * cat/os/posix
    * cat/os/win
    * cat/license/modbsd
    * cat/license/mit
    * cat/topic/ui-toolkit
    * cat/topic/template-sys
    * cat/audience/end-users

    Etc.

    The CPANHQ/etc. classifier can pick only the valid m{^cat/} tags, and only the
    first ones that match it and use them to classify the module in a SourceForge-
    like trove categorisation. So it won't need any additions to the SPEC.

    Regards,

    Shlomi Fish
    --
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Shlomi Fish http://www.shlomifish.org/
    What does "Zionism" mean? - http://shlom.in/def-zionism

    Chuck Norris read the entire English Wikipedia in 24 hours. Twice.

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