[Zeek-Dev] adding credits to the schema for package metadata

Jon Siwek jsiwek at corelight.com
Fri Jan 4 09:02:27 PST 2019

On Thu, Jan 3, 2019 at 5:04 PM Vern Paxson <vern at corelight.com> wrote:

>         [package]
>         credit = Originally written by A. Sacker <ace at sacker.com>.  JSON
>             support added by W00ter (Acme Corporation).

So first I have to question the use-case: who or what will need this
information and how often?

This is not information I think users of the command-line tool ever
care about.  E.g. I've never used other package-management tools to
look into credit/author info.

It's maybe something packages.zeek.org would show, but I don't see how
that would be better than looking at the "contributors" stats already
compiled by GitHub from author info encoded directly into git commits.

It's definitely info we've needed/used ourselves, like for the BroCon
presentation.  Is that going to be a regular thing?  What was
insufficient about using implicit author info in the git commit log?
It's left up to the contributor to self-report (via their git config)
the name/email info as they wish to be recognized.  I'm not sure how
we can get any more accurate than that.  Introducing
manually-maintained data can only make that info less reliable.

Alternatively, why would it help to have more free-form "credit"
information specifically in the metadata file versus in README,
CONTRIBUTORS, or AUTHORS files, which are already a common convention
in open-source projects?

Are there other use-cases I missed?

I'm not so much opposed to standardizing on a new metadata field
(people can already add a 'credit' field right now if they want,
there's no code changes to bro-pkg needed since it won't use it for
anything), but if it's only optional, not sure it will be
adopted/maintained widely and so not solve the problem as intended.

- Jon

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