Heh. Except as I amended, the word 'chaff' is too harsh for most CPAN modules. As I am currently on a diet that encourages more complex grains, I suggested that the metaphor might be amended to 'separating the wheat from the quinoa' or perhaps even flax, teff, or brown rice.
I kept meaning to get back to this topic, because I didn't think we ever reached a consensus on what to do (if anything). There was a lot of support for samtregar's Don't hamstring CPAN post which resisted any attempted ranking of modules for fear that such a system might stifle competition.
So, as Inigo Montoya once said, "Let me sum up."
There seemed to be considerable support for the following courses of action:
- Do nothing. CPAN modules are usually 'best' for the specific job for which they were designed ... the 'best' tool for a particular job is the tool that was designed for that job. Few CPAN modules stand out above the rest, and those that do are so commonly used that a ranking system is useless.
- Enhance the existing Module Review section so that modules could be displayed in some sort of ranked order of usefulness for a particular task. I personally liked the idea of categorizing the modules into sections (as in Categorized Questions and Answers and showing a list of 'getting started' modules in each category.
- Grandfather mentioned that one way to judge the popularity of modules would be to determine how many times they were referenced in PerlMonks posts. That might be a good place to start in creating a 'getting started' list of modules for frequently-encountered problems.
- One thing I took away from the earlier discussion was a determination to write at least one good review of a module I used. Sadly, I haven't yet acted on that intention ... but if enough of us did, it might encourage a reorganization of the Module Reviews section here in the monastery.
What do you think we should do?