[Bro-Dev] CBAN design proposal

Siwek, Jon jsiwek at illinois.edu
Tue May 24 10:07:11 PDT 2016

> On May 23, 2016, at 6:30 PM, Slagell, Adam J <slagell at illinois.edu> wrote:
> I guess there is a balance here. If we do no mandatory checks and you could submit something that isn’t even a Bro plugin, the repository could become cluttered with junk. Do we really want things that don’t even “compile”?

The clutter could still be removed by an out-of-band process.  e.g. there’s no initial check for whether a submission actually works, but after X days of a nightly process finding it is broken, it gets auto-removed.

> However, where we can’t do that is with the metadata we collect. If we don’t require what we think is important metadata in the beginning, then we will have a gap if we decide it was important all along. So there I would err towards overcorrecting in the beginning, and make things optional in the future if it turns out not to be important.

I think the most important metadata has to do w/ plugin interoperability (versioning and dependency info) and metadata that improves discoverability and search features is less important.  For one reason, the former has a more objective correctness to it and the later is more subjective.  Having wrong or missing discoverability metadata is also not going to cause things to break this missing interoperability data would.

But even though I think interoperability metadata is important, I’m also not sure it needs to be collected/aggregated before plugin submissions are accepted — it might be something the client can collect “just in time” directly from a clone of the plugin itself.  Even if a plugin doesn’t initially include this, the expected behavior could be for the cban client to use the plugin’s master branch and assume it will work w/ everything.  If the user finds that not to be true, then they just uninstall it and ask the author to add proper versioning/dependency info or they might even try to add it themselves and submit the fixes back to the author.

Metadata that helps improve discoverability and search features (topics/tags/keywords, author, license, etc) I don’t see becoming so important but underused to the point that you’d wish it were a requirement for submissions to be accepted.

I don't expect adding metadata to be so much a burden that people avoid it entirely.  Were there other reasons to think people won’t eventually add metadata info even if none is initially required?

- Jon

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