PackageAuthors table is dead - long live package authors! (NuGet Gallery)

Topics: Ecosystem, General
Jun 12, 2013 at 6:18 PM
Edited Jun 12, 2013 at 9:45 PM
Nuspecs have for a long time supported the authors field, which is a comma separated list of people who contributed to the package. And in fact, package authors use the authors field religiously.

But one of the problems in practice with the authors field is that there is no way to validate it. It is effectively freeform text, and we have no way of verifying the package authors being referred to from the text.

Also the treatment of authors being links in the package page was sometimes confusing (for example leading you to search for 'author:Inc.')

This is leading us to consider changing how we will manage, and display package authors data in the NuGet gallery.
  • We will DROP a database table PackageAuthors. (If you are maintaining a gallery fork, this is probably good to know!)
  • We will instead use the currentproperties 'FlattenedAuthors' on package, in favor of a new Authors string property.
  • We would like to stop doing comma splitting of authors in the gallery, and just display the nuspec text verbatim on nuget.org. There is one small wrinkle though which is that Nuget.Core does comma splitting automatically and exposes it in the package Metadata classes automatically, and we use that for parsing package metadata. In FlattenedAuthors we work around this by rejoining the split text, so the next result is just that we will display it as close to verbatim to the original text as possible.
Developer
Jun 25, 2013 at 5:06 PM
Does this affect the feed data in anyway?
Jul 15, 2013 at 6:17 PM
Edited Jul 15, 2013 at 6:19 PM
No, this will not affect the feed data at all. This is purely an implementation change to the gallery which can affect people who pull in gallery code. I just want to make it clear that once you run the EF migrations, your PackageAuthors table will have silently disappeared.