Linux News Today: GNOME Software Is Getting a New Rating System with Kudos
The GNOME developers are preparing to reintroduce a rating system for GNOME Software, but nothing as simple as the old one. It will be a complex way of rating the applications so that users can make informed decisions.
One of the things that have been missing from GNOME Software is the ability to rate applications and users have been asking for this feature for a long time. Some of you might remember that this feature used to be present in GNOME Software a long time ago, but it was removed. The reason was quite simple: the rating system was not good enough to clearly mark the apps. Which is why the developers now want to have something more complex that should do a much better job, or at least this is the theory.
A simple rating system generates all kinds of problems that you wouldn’t really anticipate. For example, some users would consider an application good enough to give it five stars, but others were giving it four just because it was a matter of opinion and usage and not something intrinsically wrong with it. Also, it seems that fans of other desktop environments would play the rating system, giving apps just one start to bring their ratings down. Even when measures were taken to prevent such situations, users would find another way to cheat the system.
Rating systems are useful
This rating system has been requested quite a lot for GNOME Software. At some point, when the Ubuntu developers were discussing the hypothetical situation of replacing Ubuntu Software Center with GNOME Software, they were saying that it lacked this important feature.
“As part of the AppStream generation process we explode various parts of the binary distro package and try to build metadata by merging various sources together, for example, AppData, desktop files, and icons. As part of this we also have access to the finished binary and libraries, and so can also run tools on them to get a metric of awesomeness,” wrote developer Richard Hughes.
So far, these are the new metrics that are being discussed:
1. AppMenu – has an application menu in line with the GNOME 3 HIG
2. HiDpiIcon – installs a 128×128 or larger application icon
3. HighContrast – installs contrast icons for visually impaired users
4. ModernToolkit – uses a modern toolkit like Gtk-3 or QT-5
5. Notifications – registers desktop notifications
6. SearchProvider – provides a search provider for GNOME Shell or KDE Plasma
7. UserDocs – provides user documentation.
All these are encoded by the builder of the app, but there are a few other components that need input from the community: FeaturedRecommended (the GNOME Software design team featured this), HasKeywords, HasScreenshots, MyLanguage (translations), PerfectScreenshots (16:9 aspect for screenshots), Popular (only on Fedora), and RecentRelease (has an upstream release in the last year).
All of these metrics, also referred as kudos, will provide a decent enough rating to the application that should make it clearer for users. Right now, the new system is still being tested, and everyone is encouraged to give feedback.