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[EP-tech] Changes to the EPrints Bazaar

Hi all,

Prompted by a recent email to the tech list, I have finally got round to 
tidying up the Bazaar.? In particular, preventing random users from 
accidentally updating established plugins (EPMs) through the Developer 
tab on their repositories.

The main change I have made is to introduce a new user type "Approved 
User" that is the same as a regular user but with an added permission so 
they can continue to post EPMs to the Bazaar and be put live immediately 
rather than going into the review buffer as will now happen for regular 
users.? I am also looking into enabling other permissions for approved 
users, such as being able to retire and edit their own live EPMs.? At 
the moment my plan is only to make those who are the owners of major 
plugins (e.g. IRStats2, RIOXX2, Coversheets, Altmetric, etc.) into 
approved users.? I am concerned that there would still be nothing to 
stop one approved user from submitting to the live archive a new version 
of an major plugin that they have never had anything to do with 
previously.? So keeping the list of approved users small, should reduce 
the chances of accidental submission of new versions of major plugins to 
the live archive.

In addition to this change, I have been looking into tidying up stuff 
that should not be in the Bazaar repository:

1. Non-EPM items.? I found various article, conference and other types 
of item that clearly have no place in the Bazaar.? They were not in the 
live archive but having unnecessary items sat around is not helpful for 
long term maintenance.

2. Non-activated users.? Back in 2018 I think the Bazaar started getting 
a lot of new account creations and it was not until Google ReCAPTCHA was 
enabled that this was returned from 5-10 new accounts a day back to a 
more normal 1-2 new accounts a week. Most of these new accounts were 
never activated, (via email confirmation link), so I have been deleting 
these 5000+ unactivated user accounts created before the start of 2020.? 
Part of my motivation for doing this is also for GDPR reasons.? So as 
not to store unnecessary information about individuals indefinitely.

3. Bazaar created EPMs.? Although it is theoretically possible to create 
a proper EPM through the Bazaar's web interface.? A lot of items had 
been created that were devoid of any useful content.? So I have deleted 
any items like this that were last modified over a year ago.? Like 
Non-EPM items, these were not in the live archive but I felt it was a 
good idea to tidy this up to help with ongoing maintenance.

I am not currently planning on making any further changes to the Bazaar 
beyond what I have described above.? I hope this changes will ensure 
that Bazaar plugins are better curated.? A while back we added accolades 
to plugins to make it easier to determine the quality and ease of use of 
a plugin.


David Newman

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