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Re: [directory-discuss] Review queue email (was: Re: Tor Browser: Should

From: Greg Rundlett (freephile)
Subject: Re: [directory-discuss] Review queue email (was: Re: Tor Browser: Should we approve it soon?)
Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2016 12:16:11 -0400

On Thu, Oct 27, 2016 at 6:44 PM, Svetlana Tkachenko <address@hidden> wrote:
> Good day,
> I can obtain the list of unreviewed entries, and email the list to the
> list once a week so that everybody gets an opportunity to see the review
> queue in their inbox and participate in reviewing entries.

I don't participate in the weekly calls.  I don't have time.  I don't know much about the directory (internal) process.  So take my comments with a grain of salt (which is to say that they don't carry any weight and may not even be valid).

That said, there are currently 384 unapproved pages [1].  This backlog seems to me to be very detrimental to the purpose of the directory.  The directory should be _the_  definitive and go-to source for finding free software applications.

Wouldn't it be a better policy to allow pages into the directory by default, aka an "open listing" policy.  Then, with staff or volunteer time permitting, entries could display some "Verified Free" badge with info on who/when the item was last reviewed and approved as Free.

I realize that one very big problem is preventing malicious wiki spam.  For example: this entry [2] was reviewed over a year ago; found to have an incompatible license (custom GPL2); and the author has not replied to a request for comment.  And coincidentally, visiting the developer's site raises a big red security warning about malicious content in Google Chrome browser. This could be because the site has been cracked and not intentional. [3] It looks like there hasn't been any activity on the site for a while, but it is included in the kali linux distribution [4]

But obviously a human-curated list is a primary concern. There are many sites and software that you do NOT want associated with the FSF (because they are in fact non-free). And there are many sites/software who would try to take advantage of the prominence of the FSF to distribute their non-free, malicious or otherwise nefarious software.  (Aside: an entry like this [2] should probably be outright rejected which means put into a 'deleted' status so that any future application for listing revives the prior work to ascertain validity.)

Perhaps a solution to the "open listing" policy could be that the default badge for any listing would be a cautionary "Unverified" badge; appearing in the directory for items that have not been reviewed and verified as free. There could also be a mechanism for authors/developers/users to request verification, to earn their 'Verified Free' badge and not sit forever in the unverified category.

Just my .02



Greg Rundlett

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