phoenix_ca

CKAN Discussion Continutation

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Just now, passinglurker said:

Authors use open license because they want to foster other upcoming creators and enable thier mods to out live them. Not give entitled users a license to disrespect them.

Your reasons for giving an explicit permission to do something are largely irrelevant. Fortunately, unless you really didnt mean open license, thats not part of the license.

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Just now, blu3wolf said:

Your reasons for giving an explicit permission to do something are largely irrelevant. Fortunately, unless you really didnt mean open license, thats not part of the license.

the reasons do matter because you are giving them a reason to change thier minds with your attitude.

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5 minutes ago, blu3wolf said:

given that no mod manager interacts with the distribution license of your mods anyway.

Unfortunately, the Napster defense did not work out so well for Napster. An ARR license absolutely gives you the right to restrict availability of your mod. "All Rights Reserved."

However, the problem here isn't copyright. The problem is support. I'm sure a lot of extant hostility toward CKAN would evaporate if a cast iron method of ensuring that support requests go to the person who made the CKAN-META file were to be implemented.

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Looks like pjf has weighed in, and it is looking good.

"In some cases it's not possible to install mods via the CKAN and maintain the goodwill of the author(s). The CKAN will not install any mod when the primary maintainer (or a significant group of maintainers when no primary is identifiable) requests the mod be removed from the CKAN. "

Still some details to work out, but I'm happy with the result.  I think we're in a great position to get this all sorted :)

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2 minutes ago, technicalfool said:

Unfortunately, the Napster defense did not work out so well for Napster. An ARR license absolutely gives you the right to restrict availability of your mod. "All Rights Reserved."

However, the problem here isn't copyright. The problem is support. I'm sure a lot of extant hostility toward CKAN would evaporate if a cast iron method of ensuring that support requests go to the person who made the CKAN-META file were to be implemented.

Yes, users not understanding things is the fault of CKAN, Im aware. Incidentally, Napster was materially different, and there is not corresponding legal precedent to be drawn from that case. In the case of CKAN, it only points users to where YOU personally, the modder, released your work for download by all.

No such cast iron method exists, and this is not the fault of CKAN. You will always have users installing mods incorrectly - the only difference with CKAN is the volume of them. More users, more users that cant install something correctly.

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1 minute ago, blu3wolf said:

No such cast iron method exists

Yet.

No such cast iron method exists yet.

Never say never. Multiplayer gaming in KSP when people can time warp was regarded as an unsolvable problem until KMP and DMP came along.

Build the support structure into the CKAN client. Have CKAN put a support button next to each installed mod in the listing that links directly to a related forum support thread or other support page. Either the author's support thread in the case of approved listings, or a CKAN-specific support thread if the CKAN listing is not maintained by the original author. Have a main "I don't know what the problem is but a mod broke" support button that links to a main support thread.

All just ideas right now, but at least something to throw out there that other people can poke at, tear apart and maybe use for something useful.

 

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These ideas have been brought up eslewhere today, and largely dismissed by authors. None of them are worth dismissing.

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30 minutes ago, blu3wolf said:

These ideas have been brought up eslewhere today, and largely dismissed by authors. None of them are worth dismissing.

Where have these been dismissed? Better yet, why? 

Seems like modders might just know a little more about functional and dysfunctional support methods for their mods than you or me.

Edited by technicalfool
Whoops, you naughty boy Duo! Repeating yourself. Kappa

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I've been watching this unfold and feel that a lot of people are not understanding why mods are even created in the first place. Having this attitude that mods grow on trees, will always be around, or that people make mods for users or that modders even need users to begin with is completely false. This couldn't be further from the truth.

Mods are not created for users or the community or for anything more than someone wanting a feature or asset that's missing in the base game, so that person made it for themselves. That person then thought, "Well I find this cool, maybe other people will also like to use it?"... To a modder it really doesn't matter whether the mod is available for the users or just sitting around on their hard drive benefiting just themselves. They've changed the game in a way they wanted for their own enjoyment, job done.

If the community becomes toxic against the people who create these works, then don't be surprised when these creations just don't become available anymore due to the authors not wanting the hassle of allowing other people to use what they have made and having to work within a system that's hostile to them. The availability of a mod is not determined by whether it exists or not, but by whether the creator has the time and is willing to put in the extra work involved with distribution.

Please don't expect modders to have to work within any systems laid out here. Whatever comes about from this discussion is either going to be modder friendly or there will be fewer mods made public and those that are will be under restrictive licenses. Modders are not obligated to make or even release mods. They can just decide to not become involved in this mess without a second's thought and the only people who lose out are the players.

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I had written quite a bit about attitudes on both sides of the fence here - I mostly take issue with actual, straightforward outright insults being applied to people who have jobs to do and kids to raise and therefore would like a mod manager to do the work for them, apparently regardless of whether or not they're asking for support from someone - but I deleted it as unproductive. It appears the 'community' has reached something of a detente. Yay?

But some of the blame for this event also has to fall on Squad. When did it become apparent that mod support was going to be a key selling point of this game? Three years ago? Four years ago? They should have taken ownership of this long ago. They ruled out Steam Workshop support in the project's infancy because they didn't want to 'fragment the userbase', yet now they don't even really support their own in-house updater. Later they said they didn't want to invoke the Steam Workshop because users easily installing mods would mean they could easily install malicious mods - yet Cities:Skylines, a game with three times as many players right now, manages it just fine with the same modding methodology and game engine. They then instead signed some sort of deal with Curse, who still haven't provided client support more than 2 years later and have completely failed to engage the community. Neither Workshop nor Curse come anywhere close to 'perfection' but they inarguably meet the criteria of being opt-in for modders and unemotionally predictable for end users, but neither are options.

Ultimately, and episodes like this and KerbalStuff and the rejection of Curseforge have proven it again and again: Squad should have by now realised modding and the management thereof was too important to them to leave to the whims and moods and feelings of individuals. As much as I've just been complaining about the modding community (givers and receivers), it's astonishing and a credit to the spirit of modding that it has remained active at all when you have people who really, really like playing a game arguing instead about software licenses and courtesies.

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37 minutes ago, GavinZac said:

But some of the blame for this event also has to fall on Squad.

Nope. Full tilt off the tracks right here.

If a player makes some arbitrary decision (and yes, that's all it is) to hate Curse, that's on the player. Everything set up outside Squad's official mod hosting partner is precisely 0% Squads fault.

This entire debacle, just like Kerbal Stuff, rests squarely on the shoulders of the community. What happened is the result of when people refuse to cooperate and work together, simply because they have the right not to.

What is trying to happen right now is the result of people realizing that and taking steps to fix it.

Edited by Randazzo

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9 hours ago, Met said:

This kind of talk is toxic and has no place here. CKAN users are innocent of this drama and only want a mod managing tool to make enjoying mods easier. Treating them like second-class citizens because mod authors are upset with CKAN itself is repugnant.

My response was entirely on the disrespect many CKAN supporters have shown here, equating wasting their time (i.e. having to install mods manually) with wasting mod creators' time with piles of extraneous CKAN-caused bug reports and complaints. The fault is and always has been with CKAN's handling of the issues. "treating them like second-class citizens" my ass. 

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6 hours ago, TeddyDD said:

From what i learn in this drama - users are idiots that can't understand this simple sentence.

 

This.

Generally I love idea of unsupported repo as long as that stupid users won't use it.

Why are you still incredibly toxic to the CKAN users when this really doesn't have anything to do with them? The problem is Mod Authors have issues with CKAN. That is the root.

Edited by Met

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1 minute ago, Met said:

Why are you still incredibly toxic to the CKAN users when this really doesn't have anything to do with them? The problem is Mod Authors have issues with CKAN. That is the root problem.

Which makes CKAN the root issue. Also, you really love overusing the term "toxic"

For the record, I am an end user that has used CKAN. I found it to be an annoying hassle that saved me very little time over just installing the mods myself.

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Ok...OK...

The thread seems to quickly be devolving, into a two-sided mud slinging fest, re-iterating much of what has been already pointed out and discussed in depth...

RoverDude has just posted an update, that "behind-the-scenes" talks seem to be going well... How about everyone else, just step back, and let this thread kool down for a bit...

I would hate to see this thread somehow get out of hand, and somehow affect or de-rail the discussion going on else where, that will determine whether this thread will even be relevant any longer...

@phoenix_ca Perhaps maybe requesting a temporary lockdown on the thread might be viable at this point?   maybe 12hrs...?? 24hrs...???

 

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17 minutes ago, Met said:

Why are you still incredibly toxic to the CKAN users when this really doesn't have anything to do with them? The problem is Mod Authors have issues with CKAN. That is the root.

sorry you got caught in the middle but CKAN ignored mod authors feelings on these issues for over a year this is what had to be done to get CKAN to listen. In any case CKAN is listening now and normal service will hopefully resume in the very near future so please be patient.

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I'm going to (reluctantly) sit by and watch this happen for now, and put up with occasional manual installs of 'stand-alone' mods.  But.

The second the new policy causes me hassle (e.g. a dependency of a mod I use (or write, for that matter) is de-listed), I plan to write my own package manager, with the (slightly) less restrictive policy I proposed (i.e. third party .ckans are fair game, but third party .netkans aren't).  Because frankly, CKAN's not that great a piece of software, I've long been itching to replace it with something better written, and this issue might just be what an upstart needs to capture enough mindshare to be viable.

But don't worry, it'll be a command-line tool, so the lowest-common-denominator users who are apparently the problem for Certain Modders™ will probably be too scared to use it :wink:

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2 hours ago, cybutek said:

Mods are not created for users or the community or for anything more than someone wanting a feature or asset that's missing in the base game, so that person made it for themselves

While I generally agree with you (not that my opinion REALLY matters, i don't mod), I think the dynamic does change a little bit when people start accepting patreon/paypal/bitcoin from the community.  No problem with that, especially as they've continued to be optional.  However that does mean that a modder is at least somewhat beholden to their donors (everyone's favorite phrase these days).

People are going to say no it doesn't because they're still offered for free and it keeps the mod going for future users etc etc etc.  I get all that.  Just a thought

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6 minutes ago, theimportantperson said:

I think the dynamic does change a little bit when people start accepting patreon/paypal/bitcoin from the community

Not exactly on topic but for me donation button are here to thanks for past work (I should make mine more explicit). Patreon however....

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1 minute ago, sarbian said:

Not exactly on topic but for me donation button are here to thanks for past work (I should make mine more explicit). Patreon however....

Sure and I don't fault you for that you've done so much for the community.  I just saying that functionally it's the same whether it's for past work or future work or whatever.  I paid $23 to Squad for KSP however many years ago expecting updates, even if I was technically paying them for past work.

It's probably a moot discussion and a whole other can of worms...

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That's your opinion. My opinion is that nothing justifies user that don't read frigging notices in authors thread and ask for CKAN support when author clearly say "NO CKAN SUPPORT HERE". De-listing, staging repos and everything else is just workaround to people stupidity ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ for me its EOT

1 hour ago, soundnfury said:

The second the new policy causes me hassle (e.g. a dependency of a mod I use (or write, for that matter) is de-listed), I plan to write my own package manager, with the (slightly) less restrictive policy I proposed (i.e. third party .ckans are fair game, but third party .netkans aren't).  Because frankly, CKAN's not that great a piece of software, I've long been itching to replace it with something better written, and this issue might just be what an upstart needs to capture enough mindshare to be viable.

Thats why me and @blu3wolf are insisting on creating unsupported, wild repo that would contain anything. (btw I'm interested in your idea to rewrite CKAN. What would you change? What kind of metadata would you use? What language? Could you drop me pm about details? )

7 hours ago, RoverDude said:

I do not agree with any official repo where 'unsupported' mods are - because all this does is push us right back into the current issues when all of the users scramble over there right after a new release drops.

Sure, you can be against this, you and other moders can force CKAN to not create that kind of repo. But someone outside of CKAN will create it sooner or later. Neither the modders nor CKAN will be able to stop this. So it would be better for everyone if that kind of repo would exist as part of CKAN, assuming it would be available for people who know what they doing. But this is not priority now IMHO. Advanced user still can generate ckans from frozen netkans. And there will be plenty of more important work now.

Edit: I have no idea how to reference users on this forum software, sorry.

Edited by TeddyDD

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10 hours ago, RoverDude said:

I agree with a staging and an official repo as @TeddyDD has stated.  I do not agree with any official repo where 'unsupported' mods are - because all this does is push us right back into the current issues when all of the users scramble over there right after a new release drops.  And we've seen how well that has worked out for us.  Ultimately, cleaning CKAN and filling it with stuff that is supported, has an official maintainer, and has facilities for proper pre-testing is just going to help everyone, and also mitigate a huge amount of the animosity there.

One official repo - one staging repo.  Dedicated maintainers for a mod, ideally the mod author.  If not, a volunteer approved by and working with the author.  Let us actually use staging ourselves to test our stuff out before it gets pushed to official.  This means users are going to have to wait a few days sometimes after a major update (or longer if there are dependencies, since there is going to be a long testing chain).  And this is ok, if it acts as a massive filter to a lot of the issues.  It's also undone by any kind of 'experimental' or 'unsupported' repo.  Let's not do a repeat of what got us here.

Opt-Out (for all) of course needs to always be an option.  Case in point - having the power of opt-out ensures there's motivation for a conversation (again, the case in point being that it took all of this, and the loss of Module Manager to get to an actual discussion).  

All of this is moot until we hear @pjf weigh in.  I (and I expect the rest of the modders) would like to make sure that this policy is going to actually stick, and not be rolled back.  And once in place, we need to agree that this particular part of the policy needs to be irrevocable.

I am not familiar with the CKAN team structure, but maybe @TeddyDD or @politas can help clarify the process, and let us know how we can best ensure the opt-out policy currently in place remains so that we can get back to focusing on more important issues, instead of waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under us.

This is not productive.  Especially when a lot of us are trying to sort this.  You are not helping right now.

TL/DR all of the following:

@RoverDudeis correct.

The methods used to raise his objections is irrelevant. The point made is valid.

The solution to his objections is just a proposal. A proposal which is already a rehash of an objection raised before. The only satisfaction (Personal conjecture here, see disclaimer)  he can have is to delivery the overall CKAN project to be broken down into smaller stages. With more code contributors involved. 

Stage one is delisting. This can be done quickly. Longer term stuff for another day. 

Personal Disclaimer 

Now let make my own position clear. For clarity. I am "just an end user". However I do have access to all the project management tools the same as everybody else. I can call up the whole overview. Look at the Github statistics an all that jazz. It is all openly available but few dive in look around. I don't expect anyone else to go measure the project data on Github. I would imagine few people do so on a daily basis.

Sometime very rarely. I do submit an issue report. That is about it. Sometimes do write MM patches for one mod I like. Or have special debugging environments set up for others. Sometimes ideas and code gets adopted by mod authors however messing around inside of some mods is done for my own pleasure.

There is no project leader in CKAN.

To explain more is the a bit tricky bit for for me. There is no formal business arrangement here but I am bound by a "social" NDA. Some aspects cannot be discussed openly by me. It just a personal thing. So sorry if this post is vague in some places. I openly apologize for that now. Do not expect @pjf to respond much more on the matter. He is just one person and there has been whole team of contributors since then. He does not have to weight in with anything much with other people in the project. The ideas are crowd sourced. Only a few people can merge anything but anyone can contribute. 

Just don't expect anything to happen quickly. PRs will sit around for months and this to be fully expected now and in the future. However everyone is welcome to help where they can. 

This not about licensing and never has been.

In terms of workflow. From the point of end users looking at just the GUI. It does not matter on how the repo will be set up. Or how verification is done. What is important is you do not get hear about any problems unless it is by request. Right now your getting spammed. What ever the best intentions are. What ever was or is planned. Right now in minds of many users the CKAN's GUI directs support directly to the mod author.

This is wrong. Even for a mod author that writes metadata. It is still wrong to bring a problem directly to the mod author. Even if the data is verified and checked independently. The mod author should still never be the first point of contact.for a CKAN issue. If there is something they need to know about. It should be filtered through the CKAN project first. Remembering that all mods can be overwritten or modified when mixed in with others. So the first support point of contact should be the CKAN people. (Disclaimer for the tech savvy. Technically CKAN does not allow actual file overwrites but other mods do patch via MM. Plus the download has bundled dependencies removed. They are considered separate mods. CKAN does not clean the gamedata folder correctly. Hence the facts need checked before passing bug reports.There is more but the technical details are irrelevant to the current discussion. See Github ).

Which is why I agree some mods should be delisted till such times as this is resolved. Even if mod authors do carry still carry on providing metadata in some cases. It is got nothing to do with licensing. It just disrespectful and rude to expect a mod author to take crap from users that don't read the manual. People will keep banging on about the ARR which is actually irrelevant. Changing it is just attention seeking behaviour and it is working. I am sorry but that what it takes for genuine grievances to be noticed. So it goes.

In terms of the future.

I hope it works out fine.

There is actually was supposed to be work flow here. One that mod authors should be largely unaware of working in the background. If it was working correctly. Right now it does not work and too much mail is directed directly to the mod author. The initial metadata input should still be done by anyone. This is basically data entry. A job that we can farm out to the masses. However nothing entered should be live data. Even if provided by the mod author.

CKAN already has features built into that can hide metadata from general population of users. We know this by the number of times people pester mod authors for updates. When a simple command would give them a temporary unsupported work around. It also has the ability to experimentally run it with less version controls and can mix manual and automated installs. For those users that actually did RTFM.

There always a debate doing on how we should improve it but not much action. This project runs very slowly. The CKAN Wiki needs changes and so does the GUI. The support system needs formalized. Policy statements can be fixed easily the coding requires more manpower. CKAN should be the first point of contact. The mod author must only be contacted if they publicly solicit CKAN related bug reports 

They do welcome PR's  

The immediate solution right now

@politas has already submitted a PR on the policy change. Someone has changed the contribution page. (you name has been on there for a while actually. Shame it didn't help this time.) Technically anyone can submit metadata but it does not have to be accepted. Very few people can do the merge to the repository. This particular part of the new policy is irrevocable. So long as there is a control on merging. Yes, we can slide off into the land of workarounds but that is ok. The users that have the technical skills to pull this off are not the same guys that sending you mod authors spam.

So if a mode author requests a delisting it just a simple case of taking in out of the current repository. Currently the whole ARR in exchange for delisting idea is bad. I can't and will not share private messages. So you will just have to my word for it. With a reminder of the personal disclaimer. When I say. i am sure that the majority of the CKAN developers agree with this. (If untrue guys this post will be moderated on request. You will get no counter argument)  

What the..  does this proposal upset end users?

YesSorry but people just need to accept thisSee that version number at the top of the CKAN GUI?

It says "Beta" for a reason. Everything about about beta software should be opt in where possible.

Right now under the current system. Even before Roverdude got mad. It was a total pain to fix simple metadata problems for social reasons. It is technically easy and fast to fix most of the problems. If the CKAN people know about them. If the end users can take a number and patiently wait in the support queue. Taking every problem to directly mod authors upsets them.

Then when some one like me comes along to try and diagnose the problem. They get attacked. A simple problem that takes 5 minutes to log in Netkan issues . Which normally gets merged within 24 hours. Turns into is to a social mine field. Negotiating what the mod author wants. Can take longer that fixing the actual technical problem. All because a bunch of other end users got there first and upset them.  

Do not expect mod authors to sort things out. Delisting some mod actually helps fix things. It leaves mod authors willing to answer questions and contribute to level they are comfortable with. It is key to collaboration. Especially when an end user wants to learn more and perhaps help write parts of the original mod. Anything which puts a barrier into open collaboration. Socially or otherwise is bad for everyone. 

Someone will no doubt still some back with an argument that this flies directly in the face of an ARR licence. So I will repeat my earlier point. People will keep banging on about the ARR which is actually irrelevant. Changing it is just attention seeking behaviour and it is working. I am sorry but that what it takes for genuine grievances to be noticed. So it goes.

If any good has come out of all of this. There is a lot more activity on Github. Although it is not all positive, The very presence of more people inside CKAN helps a lot. If end users have been shocked out of basic consumer behaviour and now know more. That helps too.  

Edited by nobodyhasthis2

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9 hours ago, TeddyDD said:

9. Encourage authors to manage metadata about their mods. Who knows better how mod should be installed that the author? Write tutorials how to package mod. Show modders what advantages CKAN gives as package manager. Create easy to use .ckan/.netkan editor that don't require messing with JSON. Provide any help they need to understand how CKAN works and how to package a mod without hassle. This is critically important point! Mod authors providing metadata means that CKAN maintainers could spend more time on testing packages than packaging mods. It would also decrease importance of Netkan witch is good! Netkan as automatic tool is error prone and should be used as helper not as main tool to create metadata.

Imagine this workflow:

  • Author wants to release new version of mod
  • Author have a .netkan file for his mod
  • he/she upload the mod to Spacedock and generate .ckan file using netkan.
  • If file is correct, author is pushing it to testing repo (or even directly to main repo)
  • If generated ckan package is broken is pretty easy to fix it manually since author knows how CKAN works
    • Author edits generated ckan file (5 minutes of work) and sends it to testing repo


In this example .netkan is just a helper. I best case it generates end-user metadata, in the worst case it helps in writing metadata by hand.

 

Any suggestions?

This!  I have dabbled in Unity.  Written C# scripts.  Made a nav ball. (That doesn't use quaternions!)  Played with collision physics.  All of this was quite difficult - BUT the assumption that "something isn't hard for somebody who can make a mod" is the WRONG approach.  After sorting through libraries, scripts, chasing down workarounds around "that one bug", and engaging in other mind-numbing details of coding, the LAST thing a dev wants is another layer of difficulty.  I can write C# code.  I know squat about JSON, metadata files, netcan files and ckan files.  If I had a mod I wanted to publish and came across all that, my first response would be, "screw that, I'll just post it on Curse."  (Are you listening @blu3wolf?)

To assume that just because people can do hard things means they want to do hard things is a fallacy.  Devs are willing to do hard things for their mod to make it cool.  They're not that motivated to do hard things for something like CKAN.

So, number 9 here is spot on.  Make it EASY for devs to "post" their stuff to CKAN.  While you're at it, support the users with installs so the devs can take that off their plate. 

What would "easy" look like to me as somebody who knows zero about CKAN indexing?  Web page with boxes where I fill in name, version, url and a blurb.  A dropdown box with other mods that may be dependencies.  If it was much more complicated than that, I would lose interest fast. 

Devs like easy, too.  They really really do. 

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4 minutes ago, mjl1966 said:

What would "easy" look like to me as somebody who knows zero about CKAN indexing?  Web page with boxes where I fill in name, version, url and a blurb.

It seems there is wip project like that here

6 minutes ago, mjl1966 said:

Devs like easy, too.  They really really do. 

"We will encourage you to develop the three great virtues of a programmer: laziness, impatience, and hubris." -- LarryWall

My favourite quote :)

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37 minutes ago, TeddyDD said:

Sure, you can be against this, you and other moders can force CKAN to not create that kind of repo. But someone outside of CKAN will create it sooner or later. Neither the modders nor CKAN will be able to stop this. So it would be better for everyone if that kind of repo would exist as part of CKAN, assuming it would be available for people who know what they doing. But this is not priority now IMHO. Advanced user still can generate ckans from frozen netkans. And there will be plenty of more important work now.

Not quite.  The official CKAN repo is a sticky.  It's a matter of visibility and ease of access.  Given that advanced users can still generate their own repos, by all means let them do it.  But not, IMO, as a part of the official project, otherwise (as noted) we're going to land in the exact same spot we are now - a public repo managed by the CKAN project where modders cannot opt out, and the new answer is 'well, I'll just use the unsupported repo'.  And of course, they are most definitely not going to admit to it, or plead ignorance 'But I used CKAN...?'.  

Are rogue repos a possibility?  Sure.  Will users make their own metadata and pass it around?  No doubt.  Should it be something sanctioned and included in an official repo maintained by the CKAN project?  IMO no.

It would be a shame to go through all of this hassle, all of the de-listing, etc. just to have the entire thing conveniently circumvented by an alternate (official) repo.

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