I find myself plagued these days about how to make and explain value judgements about how ‘good’ a given Open Source package is.
There are many ways to judge this: User base, bugs, release frequency etc, but all of these alone seem to fall down: It’s hard to judge these against eath other without a formal framework for doing so.
I was kind of thinking that’s what’s needed is a Magic Quadrant similar to the Gartner type things that can be used as a quick view of where a given OpenSource software is.
in the Gartner Magic Quadrant, the four sections are Challengers, Leaders on the top row with Niche Players and Visionaries on the bottom. Ability to execute is the extrapolation.
I’m thinking of a 4 way Quadrant with Bugs and Use on the top with Setup and Develop on the bottom. The basic idea is that use is ubiquity of software, or how well used it is. Bugs is a metric of the bug/cleanup rate. Setup is how hard the thing is to get working and keep working and develop is the size and responsiveness of the developer community.
Much in the same vein as Gartner, a balanced view of the package can be gained by seeing where in the square a given package falls. I’m working on final designs now, but feedback on this would be great.
I’m sure someone can fill some blanks in for me!