[Nagiosplug-devel] Nagios plugins CPAN-like archive

Ton Voon tonvoon at mac.com
Thu Jul 14 12:26:57 CEST 2005

Thank you for your thoughts on the future plugin archive. Matthias  
Eble coined this as NP-CPAN, which I will use for now.

In summary:

Need to move away from contrib area. For: Richard Brodie, Sean  
Finney, Andreas Ericsson. Against: none.

Control of names of plugins. Andreas thinks this is not possible and  
I would agree with him. However, I would like names not to clash  
(thinking about simplified downloading). Matthias is worried about  
check_http and check_http2, etc. I'm not sure we can control this in  
any meaningful way, so a user will need to decide on which plugin  
they would use. I think if we could get a sense of how "maintained" a  
plugin is and other users feedback, this would help a user in making  
a decision on which to use.

Quality issues. Sean is worried about quality of external plugins,  
but the point of this is to be able to unleash the community to  
develop and maintain their plugins themselves. Andreas is right:  
current contribs are not really QA'd and forks will happen. I think  
Stanley Hopcroft said it best: "CPAN is [...] absolutely  
indispensable [...] because of the high quality of __some__ of the  
modules [and is a] dumping ground for other modules of lower  
quality". I think plugins will sink or rise based on popularity and/ 
or quality, which will be unrelated to how Nagios Plugins performs.

Easy install. Richard mentions an unstable package for download,  
which shows some degree of "blessed" plugins by the project. As the  
point is to unleash, I don't think this is a reasonable expectation  
because it is again putting work onto this project. However, NP-CPAN  
should have some easy way of installing plugins.

Certification. Sean thinks is a good idea, but also wants metrics on  
whether audited, or scheduled for inclusion. Again, as my aim is to  
unleash, I think auditing is an impossible objective. I would hope  
that some plugins come with test cases too, but that is fully up to  
the developer.

Nagiosexchange. Sean says in his previous experience they seem  
"reasonable" and given they have some infrastructure already there,  
I'm inclined to talk with them.

So I think there is a consensus to do it. No one has really commented  
on requirements, so here's my interpretation of the responses plus a  
few of my own:

MUST HAVE: mirroring of repository, last updated, non-clashing plugin  
SHOULD HAVE: user feedbacks, certification results
NICE TO HAVE: easy downloadability

I think the must haves must be available for NP-CPAN to be endorsed,  
with should haves as soon as possible.

So, unless there are any objections by next Tuesday, I'll begin  
discussions with Nagiosexchange if they can be our official repository.


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