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How to interpret #downloads of a module on Forge?

asked 2015-05-28 03:57:24 -0500

tianyin gravatar image


Forgive me if this is not the right question to ask here (I'm new to the Forge ecosystem).

For each module, the module page would show the total number of downloads of the module. To me, #downloads are usually a big indicator of popularity (even maturity). If two modules have distinct download times, I tend to first try the one with higher #downloads. Presumably, this is the purpose for Forge to show users the #downloads.

So I'm very curious about how does the Forge count #downloads for each published module? I would guess 1 download means the module is downloaded either from the website (downloading the tarball) or from the client (using puppet module install)? However, such counting cannot tell how many people use the module because it is clearly biased to whom with big clusters. I believe Forge has better way to count the downloads.

The question comes from my recently published module on Forge. It's for a very new and specific software project, and I just find it has got ~250 downloads which does not seem reasonable to me (though I'm happy with the number).

Thank you very much!

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answered 2016-12-25 15:24:24 -0500

The download count is pretty dumb. It registers each retrieval, no matter the request came from the same IP-address. Usually you got a master-client-set-up, where you download a module once per site. So multiple retrievals shouldn't carry much weight, since one administrator utilizes a module on some of his managed sites.

To measure maturity the module rating would be a better scale. Unfortunately it's not used by many users. And if a module sucks, you do not do the efforts giving a bad rating, but directly throw the module into the trash.

You also have to take into account the module's first publish date.

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one other thing to consider.. there are some modules that get migrated, like from a general user's namespace to the puppet community (voxpupuli) namespace. in those cases, also take into account the module's release number, they usually put things at 999.999.999 when they are 'passed on'

DarylW gravatar imageDarylW ( 2017-01-03 08:05:45 -0500 )edit

In those cases, I'm not sure how old forge namespace vs new forge namespace works with regards to counts

DarylW gravatar imageDarylW ( 2017-01-03 08:06:23 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2015-05-28 03:57:24 -0500

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Last updated: Dec 25 '16