App ratings/comments

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App ratings and/or comments is something which is frequently requested in the forums and the issue tracker. Essentially, I believe it boils down to having some sort of social process for helping evaluate the quality/usefulness of apps. Currently, the only ways to do this include: downloading and installing the app to see for yourself, checking it out on the Play store (or other market places) or searching the web for other feedback or reviews.

Issues:

Forum posts related to:

Suggested solutions:

  • "Featured apps" along with curated content for these apps (I don't recall where this has been discussed Pserwylo (talk))
  • Link to forum thread on f-droid.org
  • Vote using an external protocol/service such as https://pump.io (see comments by daithb8)
  • Torsten Grote suggested (to mvdan in private) that we could use a popcon system, like Debian. F-Droid clients would have an opt-in feature to anonymosuly send a list of installed apks to the repos. They would send little information, like appid, version code and perhaps date of installation too. They would only send info about apks that they installed from that particular repo, so that installing an app from a repo that is also available in other repos would only count as a vote in that one repo, but not the others. This would avoid many false positives from e.g. people coming from Play. This would be relatively easy to implement. Mvdan


Possible implementation via plugins

I wonder if something like this could be implemented via plugins for F-Droid. Currently, there is zero things anything like a plugin infrastructure in F-Droid. However, I can imagine a plugin framework which says: "You can put a new here, and we'll tell you what app you are viewing". Then, somebody could produce a plugin which pulls in ratings from some 3rd party service with really good privay policies, and somebody else could build a plugin which allows comments via a worse 3rd party plugin such as Disqus (or whatever it is called).

Incidentally, this would also other plugins such as, e.g. screen shots, to be shown.

If any of the plugins were to be implemented, and they were licensed correctly, then they could be included into master if they proved to be popular and useful.