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mkanet 12-11-2010 11:47 PM

SageTV Plugin Developers: Any way to see stats for your plugin?
I wonder if there's a way for plugin developers (or users) to see download/uninstall stats for plugins. If it's not possible currently, maybe if there's enough interest, we could ask to have that added as a feature... such as Popularity ranking, etc; or, just make it private... for the plugin creator only.


GKusnick 12-12-2010 12:13 AM

SageTV doesn't keep track of such stats; the software doesn't phone home to Sage HQ every time you install or uninstall a plugin (nor should it in my opinion). But plugin devs are free to host their plugins on services that provide download stats if that's what they want.

However I'm skeptical of the usefulness of such measures. Download counts can be skewed by users who do multiple uninstalls and reinstalls during troubleshooting, or by plugins with lots of bugs that require lots of updates. So a high download count isn't necessarily a sign of plugin quality.

If you want to know whether a plugin is worth installing, my view is that there's really no substitute for doing the due diligence and reading up on it in the forums to get a sense of whether people are happy with it, whether it performs as advertised, whether the author comes across as a meticulous and careful coder, etc. Trying to summarize all that in a simple download count or popularity rating is, in my opinion, misleading.

Spectrum 12-12-2010 08:28 PM

If I catch a plugin or Sage itself phoning home to report "usage stats" it won't take long for me to firewall the ever-loving pi$$ out of it.

I don't care if it increments a counter when it's downloaded, anyone with access to the webserver logs could parse that out, but when software starts tracking my usage patterns, etc. I either firewall it to prevent it from calling home or find an alternative. It's just none of the devs business when I use it, what files I open, etc.

I appreciate what the Sage devs and plugin devs do, but apple-esqe tracking measures are just uncalled for.

mkanet 12-12-2010 09:22 PM

Thanks for your posts guys! I obviously didnt think it through that getting a "popularity" score/stat could be incredibly intrusive for the developers as well as the end users. For me, I could care less if there's a process that checks to see if I'm using a plugin or not. I find it fascinating how strongly people feel about their privacy; and, rightfully so. Personally, I have nothing to hide, but maybe I'm just the minority.

Thanks for pointing out the issues that something like this would cause. I guess that's why it wasn't implemented in the first place.


Spectrum 12-12-2010 10:33 PM

Download counters wouldn't be hard to implement server side, but GKs write on the numbers being skewed due to reinstalls, testing, etc. I don't know if the skew would be significant, only someone with access to the actual numbers could tell :)

I think a rating system would be much better and give a more balanced result; it would also be optional and non-intrusive from a privacy standpoint ;) I'm not sure if that's on the Sage dev's radar or not but there is a possiblilty it could be done as a plugin as long as someone could provide a hosting location for the info. Of course it would probably need to be moderated, bots and trolls are rampant and just love polluting things like that :(

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