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Example appraisal to be inserted at the top of every dev topic...

Poll: please give us feedback on this TWikiExtension:

Feedback Quality Install
By Idea Implem. Docs Examples Cleanliness Quantity Changed Plugin Changed TWiki Comment
MartinCleaver Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium 1 no no  
LynnwoodBrown Excellent Medium Medium Medium Excellent 2 no no Let'r rip!
MartinCleaver Excellent Poor Medium Poor Excellent 1 no no foo
MartinCleaver Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium 1 no no can't reproduce Lynnwoods issue
AntonAylward Medium Medium Poor Poor Medium 1 no no Hmmm. How easy is this for a poll?
PeterThoeny Medium Excellent Poor Medium Excellent 2 no no testing...
CrawfordCurrie Medium Poor Poor Poor Excellent 1000000 yes yes Colourless green ideas sleep furiously
MartinCleaver Sufficient Sufficient Sufficient Sufficient Sufficient Sufficient 1 no no  
MartinCleaver 2 -1 1 -2 1 2 1 no no  
MartinCleaver 4 5 4 1 2 4 1 no no  
PeterThoeny 1 2 3 4 5 3 1 no no test again

Statistics Quality (1 poor ... 5 excellent) Install
Number of Feedbacks Idea Design Implem. Docs Examples Cleanliness Quantity Changed Plugin Changed TWiki
11 2.3 2.0 2.7 1.0 2.7 100,001.7 4 1 0

The current thinking is that there would be a separate topic (*Apprasal) for each plugin. Whether this should be linked to from the plugin page is a matter of opinion - although having it only appear in the pagelayout (hence the appearance on the WebLeftBar) and means that TWiki has no concept of an link implied by the PageLayoutTemplate yet it does mean all extensions automatically show the associated Dev and Appraisal topics, and indeed everything else we might decide to add to the PageLayout.

There is certainly the need to version each plugin - and have appraisals be ranked against a particular versions. Will made a point that InstalledPlugins should show what versions are installed but we might need a plugin to help appraisers know more conveniently.

Although knowing the date they reviewed is indicative, it does not definitively tell what version of TWiki and what version of the plugin they used. They might not even be compatible.

-- MartinCleaver - 10 Oct 2004

I want to use the noform addition to CommentPlugin so can you please update CommentPlugin before I start the work to create these topics? Thanks.

-- MartinCleaver - 31 Oct 2004

IdeaQuality: Never mind the implementation, how good is the basic idea?
DesignQuality: How well designed is the extension from a user perspective?
DocumentationQuality: How good is the documentation?
ExampleUsefulness: How good are the examples? Did they help you understand the extension?
InstallationCleanliness: Was the installation easy? Was there an installer script? Was it easy to resolve dependencies?
ImplementationQuality: If you are not a programmer, you will probably want to set this as 'Not rated'. Programmers, please review the code before marking this!
About your install
How many TWiki installations have you installed this on?
Did you have to change the extensions code (e.g. to get it working)?
Did you have to change TWiki's code for this extension?


  1. This will be added on every pluginDev
  2. It should be summarised on PluginPackage

I intend to roll this out across all plugins starting 7th October - please comment here if you want to influence this.


  • Thanks to SamHasler and CrawfordCurrie for their help with the technical definition of the poll type
  • Thanks to Peter for the design


I just tried it out and for some reason, it added a couple extra lines before my input, thereby breaking the table formatting. I deleted the extra lines but you might double-check the comment UserTemplates.

-- LynnwoodBrown - 28 Sep 2004

Users with smaller screens or bigger fonts can't see the whole table. I shortended two headings. Revert if you don't like it. -- ok, thanks.

The word "plugin" appears twice in the questions. Not correct for skins etc. -- will change to Extension

It would be cool if the word "Extension" is replaced by the actual type of extension, like "Plugin". This can be done with some SpreadSheetPlugin magic, $SET() a variable to the %TOPIC% with Name and Dev stripped away, then show the form. -- would rather teach people the generic term

Also, it would be nice to have a table footer row showing statistics. -- will investigate

Add some heading that this is a poll/vote. -- done

-- PeterThoeny - 29 Sep 2004 (comments by MC)

This is an excellent idea, Martin.

It would be good to have some explanation of the fields; "Quality of Implementation" is a bit vague, as is "Cleanliness of Installation", for example.

I added a nascent statistics report. It needs more SpreadSheetPlugin expertise than I have to count the number of Excellents, though!

-- CrawfordCurrie - 29 Sep 2004

  1. Thanks.
  2. Ok, done. They are now topics in Plugin.
  3. Thanks.

-- MartinCleaver - 30 Sep 2004

2. Are they? Most of the fields in your poll, above, still appear as QuestionMarkedLinks

-- CrawfordCurrie - 01 Oct 2004

Before I create 140 of these, can anyone offer spreadsheet code to summarise the other columns?

-- MartinCleaver - 09 Oct 2004

Something just occurred to me: how will this relate to plugin versions? Without that piece of data, wouldn't this eventually contain data comparing apples and oranges? So options to address this might be 1) inclusing field for version so we could at least filter by version, or 2) retire one set of data (perhaps with a summary presented) when a new version of plugin is released.

-- LynnwoodBrown - 09 Oct 2004

Good point, I was aware of this issue but did not find a good suggestion. If we retire a set of data it needs to be done selectively, for example, IdeaQuality and number of installs should not be retired.

-- PeterThoeny - 09 Oct 2004

My 2c...

  • I fear that this information may be outdated sooner than later.
  • Having such big blob of text on top of the plugin is distracting
  • Not sure whether this information is even valuable.

My suggestion is to have this poll (for all plugins) accessible form some other page linked from the Plugins.WebHome topic, rather than from the plugin topic itself. If somebody is interested in getting other opinions about the plugin, they can go to that page.

-- ThomasWeigert - 09 Oct 2004

If it stores the time for each appraisal maybe we could use ChartPlugin to graph over time.

-- SamHasler - 09 Oct 2004





-- MartinCleaver - 29 Oct 2004

Suggestion to make the statistics easier: Use numbers for appraisals; and use 5 instead of 3 values.

Value shown in picklist Saved value
1 - poor 1
2 2
3 - medium 3
4 4
5 - excellent 5

I created the PluginAppraisalStatistics topic that gets included by each PluginAppraisalTemplate topic. That way we can fine tune the statistics after all PluginAppraisal topics have been created.

-- PeterThoeny - 30 Oct 2004

Thanks Peter.

How about this implementation? I did also try with zero-centered ratings but decided against it as I did not want it to discourage people from building extensions.

Do you want a single table to cover the different (Plugin/AddOn/Contrib) types of extension?

-- MartinCleaver - 30 Oct 2004

Yes, 1 to 5 is better. Zeros complicate spreadsheet calcs. The terminology poor vs questionable is not so clear. Not all levels need to be named.

-- PeterThoeny - 30 Oct 2004

We can try a topic for each type of extension, containing a table of rows with the stats of each extension. There might be a performance issue.

Another approach is to have just one PluginAppraisal topic that has a form with a picklist where you can select one of the extensions. Submitting the form shows the statistics of the selected extension embedded in the topic. Something like WebSearch.

-- PeterThoeny - 30 Oct 2004

Latest CommentPlugin is now installed on TWiki.org

-- PeterThoeny - 01 Nov 2004

Thanks Peter. I reckon that I'll get a chance to run my create-100s of appraisals script this evening or tomorrow morning. If anyone knows of a setting to make these not blat over the changes view please advise me here.

-- MartinCleaver - 01 Nov 2004

Incidently, why do zeroes complicate spreadsheet calcs?

-- MartinCleaver - 01 Nov 2004

Ok, have created most of them. I note that CalendarPluginAppraisal fails to align the figures under the headings, perhaps someone can advise?

-- MartinCleaver - 02 Nov 2004

Also, efforts to continue to use my script to generate the rest of the topics is failing... I will continue to retry...

twiki> makeappraisal
Uploading TO Plugins.SpellCheckerPluginAppraisal
Update of topic failed http://twiki.org/cgi-bin/save/Plugins/SpellCheckerPluginAppraisal -- 500 Internal Server Error
AbortingUploaded SpellCheckerPluginAppraisal
Uploading TO Plugins.SpellPluginAppraisal
Update of topic failed http://twiki.org/cgi-bin/save/Plugins/SpellPluginAppraisal -- 500 Internal Server Error

-- MartinCleaver - 02 Nov 2004

Table align issue: That is because there are two newlines, breaking the table apart. The first newline is in the PluginAppraisalHeader topic, immediately before the STOPINCLUDE, the second one in the CalendarPluginAppraisal topic, just after the INCLUDE. I removed the newline in the PluginAppraisalHeader, now it works.

-- PeterThoeny - 02 Nov 2004

Martin, I changed the form content:

The GlobalReplacePlugin came in handy for this task. (Now disabled for security)

Not sure what the issue is with Internal Server Error. You might want to try those topics manually.

-- PeterThoeny - 03 Nov 2004

Just tried and succeeded in creating SpellCheckerPluginAppraisal and SpellPluginAppraisal manually.

-- PeterThoeny - 04 Nov 2004

Turned out that my host got blacklisted by the BlackListPlugin.

As I have another 100 or so topics to make, please inhibit http://wikiconsulting.com from being blacklisted! Thanks.

-- MartinCleaver - 04 Nov 2004

Ok, I have now made appraisals for all the Plugins, Contribs, AddOns and Skins.

I also attach the CommandSet that I used to do this with.

-- MartinCleaver - 05 Nov 2004


-- MartinCleaver - 05 Nov 2004

I fixed all Appraisal topics to point back to the TWikiExtension topic in the RelatedTopics field. Sorry for the "spam" in WebChanges.

One item is pending. We should make it easy to access the Appraisal topics from the TWikiExtension topics. It is already in the sidebar, is that sufficient? In addition one of this?

  1. Add new RelatedTopics field to the PackageForm, and add a link to the Appraisal and Dev topics
  2. Add an "Appraisal" row to the "Plugin Info" table

I favor the former since it does not affect the topic text and the Appraisal link is just on TWiki.org.

-- PeterThoeny - 06 Nov 2004

Not all the skins show the WebLeftBar. Perhaps a TWikiExtensionHeader can be inserted like the Dev header?

I'd like to write an AfterSaveHandler for the plugins web - this would create the Dev/Appraisal topics and create MD5s for the attachments. Would you install it?

-- MartinCleaver - 09 Nov 2004

It just occurred to me that adding the date of review and the version number reviewed would be very handy. The former is easy, but how would I get the available version numbers of each TWikiExtension?

-- MartinCleaver - 10 Nov 2004

Also, am thinking there should be a way to specify "not tried it" - e.g. "I've not looked at the code". Should we use zero for that, or maybe blank?

I can imagine that some people will be reluctant to vote if forced to give answers to questions they don't know the answer to.

An alternative is to designate Sufficent as "no comment".

-- MartinCleaver - 12 Nov 2004

The Cleanliness total is clearly wrong!

-- MartinCleaver - 12 Nov 2004

In the form one fills out for evaluating a given plugin's usefulness and quality, the data collected easily leads to erroneous interpretation. For example, I leave all the fields related to code quality at the default value (sufficient) as I lack the knowledge necessary to render a valid judgement.

The default values should all be a null (no comment).

-- MattWilkie - 16 Nov 2004

Matt, good point.

-- PeterThoeny - 16 Nov 2004

With Dakar pending we might consider changing the UserTemplates#Plugins_TWikiExtensionAppraisal to incorporate against which version of TWiki the administrator installed.

-- MartinCleaver - 05 Nov 2005

http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/historyflow/evaluation has a different set of evaluation questions:

 Write your own review on History Flow Visualization Application
Completing a review does not require your personal information, and you will not be contacted regarding your review. For questions about this technology, please visit the discussion forum.

   Overall: Considering all aspects of the experience, how would you rate your overall level of satisfaction with History Flow Visualization Application?    
   Capability: How satisfied are you that History Flow Visualization Application has the functions and features to perform as expected?    
   Usability: How satisfied are you with the "ease of use" of History Flow Visualization Application?    
   Performance: How satisfied are you with the response time or speed with which History Flow Visualization Application executes its functions?    
   Reliability: How satisfied are you with the frequency, number, and seriousness of errors in History Flow Visualization Application?    
   Installation: How satisfied were you with the ease of installation, initialization, and migration of History Flow Visualization Application?    
   Maintenance: How satisfied are you with getting updates from alphaWorks, or patches from the development team for History Flow Visualization Application?    
   Information: How satisfied are you with the accuracy, completeness, and time it takes to find information (online help, etc.) for History Flow Visualization Application?    
   Service: How satisfied are you with the effectiveness of the alphaWorks discussion forum for History Flow Visualization Application, and responses to your e-mails?    
   Describe the one feature or function you consider BEST about History Flow Visualization Application.    
   Describe the one feature or function you consider WORST about History Flow Visualization Application.    
   Describe the most important capability that is MISSING in History Flow Visualization Application and should be added.    
   Describe something NEW you would most wish to see in a future version of History Flow Visualization Application.    
   Provide additional COMMENTS on any of the above or anything that may not have been covered.    
   Since learning about History Flow Visualization Application, how have you made use of it?    
Not yet examined or deployed this software
Reviewed the code or specifications
Installed/Built and ran tests with the software
Integrated with other technology
   Are you currently an IBM partner or customer?    
   Please tell us your role:
(check all that apply)       
IT Executive
Non-IT Executive
Non-IT Professional
Educator or Student
Press       HCI Architect/Designer
Human Factors/User Researcher
Visual/Industrial Designer
Information Architect
IT Architect/Designer

-- MartinCleaver - 05 Feb 2006

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Topic revision: r45 - 2006-02-05 - MartinCleaver
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