[maemo-community] Reforming Karm

From: Dave Neary dneary at maemo.org
Date: Thu Oct 2 18:50:53 EEST 2008
Hi Andrew,

Thanks for the feedback.

I'm going to invoke Occam's Razor on some ideas (including some of my
own) having looked a bit furthher into how these things might get
implemented. I think we need to make a distinction between *really* easy
to do and *really* hard to do stuff, and favour easy over hard.

Andrew Flegg wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 2, 2008 at 12:22 PM, Dave Neary <dneary at maemo.org> wrote:
> [snip]
>> I'm not sure where in the scheme of things itT would fit, perhaps you
>> can make a suggestion. Also, if someone has a suggestion of a metric for
>> IRC, I'm all ears (but remain sceptical of its usefulness as a metric of
>> participation).
> I think there is a lot of community building, assistance and
> discussion on IRC. Therefore, it should (in some small way) be
> counted.

As I said, I'm sceptical, but that's beside the point. I was asking
"what would the IRC metric be?" - how do we measure it and award karma?
One suggestion by Eric Warnke was one point per month when your nick
joins the channel in the last year - but of course, that doesn't measure
participation. Is there any place where we can get # of comments per
nick? How would we translate that to karma? A karmabot that keeps count
& updates the midgard database daily?

>> I have a feeling that things that are more talking than doing should be
>> measured on a square root scale - if you write 25 emails to a mailing
>> list, and that gets you 5 karma, then 80 mails should get you 9 karma
>> (we don't want to encourage people to be only writing email IMHO).
>> Some other modifications I would bring in are max and min points for
>> things like blog entries scores and products - I think for blogs the min
>> should be about 2 karma, the max about 10.
> Doesn't this move to weighting the karma *solely* towards
> development(-process) tasks? Writing emails or blog posts can
> encourage change in the community, bring disparate activities together
> or coalesce a number of thoughts into a concrete plan.

Not solely, no. It merely limits the effects of blogs - if your blog
post gets 50 faves, you currently get 51 karma for that. If you maintain
a popular product, you get maybe 30 karma. I know which one took more

> *Doing* something isn't the only thing of value, and the (possibly
> only) good thing the current karma system has is /not/ focusing purely
> on development-process issues like opening/closing bugs in Bugzilla,
> or shipping a product.

Currently it doesn't even include bugzilla opening & closing bugs, I
believe. Or wiki creates & edits. I think it should, and I think those
activities count as doing something productive.

I agree that talking has value - and I propose that we give it some
value - but I think that doing stuff has *more* value, and I want to
make sure Karma weights things appropriately.

>> For products, I would stop counting after 4 releases, which I think is a
>> nice balance between rewarding product maintainers, historical
>> participation and supporting older distributions on the one side, and
>> overpowering karma by over-weighting products in the case where they are
>> maintained for every single Maemo release.
> Would it be better to do something like some of us discussed at the
> summit: karma elements have a half-life; if you released 3 version of
> a product for the 770, that *is* less valuable to the community today.
> This kind of arbitrary limit on the amount of karma you can earn seems
> like the wrong approach to me.

Actually, both of these propositions (mine & yours) would be
inordinately difficult to manage with the midgard database as it is.

I like the half-life idea, I know that Eclipse uses something similar to
manage inactive committers (there it's binary obviously, but if you make
no commits in six months, or fewer than 3 over the previous year or so,
you can lose committer status). But I worry that if there's a lot of
work putting it into practice that it won't be a good investment.


maemo.org docsmaster
Email: dneary at maemo.org
Jabber: bolsh at jabber.org

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