Feature Freeze Exception: Recommender feedback (no UI change)

Bug #1044107 reported by Gary Lasker on 2012-08-30
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
software-center (Ubuntu)
Gary Lasker

Bug Description

Hello! We'd like to request a FFe for a small (but very useful) feature that we'd like to add to Ubuntu Software Center. This is the client-side implementation for the feature described in bug 944060.

Essentially, the feature works like this. If a person has opted-in to receive recommendations in Software Center (and so has agreed to upload a list of their installed packages to the recommender service as a basis for their recommendations), we want to augment our ability to improve our recommendations by signaling to the recommender service whenever an item that has been recommended has actually been installed. It's as simple as that. This kind of "implicit" feedback is expected to be very useful in improving the quality of the recommendations that we make.

Note that if the user has *not* opted in to the recommendations service, no such call is ever made. This feature is inactive in that case.

The feature is completely implemented in the back end and does not involve any changes in the UI. The attached branch contains the code. Note that there is a thorough unit test for the feature included in the branch.

The risk of regression is pretty much negligible.

Once we have your approval we will merge the branch to USC trunk for release in Quantal.

Many thanks!!

Related branches

description: updated
description: updated

If the server side knows what packages are installed and it knows what it's recommending, why can't this all be done server side?

Gary Lasker (gary-lasker) wrote :

Hi Scott, the simple reason to do it this way is that in the client we can detect with certainty that the installation was a result of a recommendation. On the server side we'd have to infer this, and since any recommendations that are of good quality will be things that a person might naturally find/install on their own (because they are, in theory, already "interested" in such an app ), there seems at least a chance that the install was not the direct result of a recommendation but instead a search, or through navigating a category, or a recommendation from a friend/coworker, etc. The goal here is that we really want to know for certain that the person has discovered the app via one of the recommendations displayed in the UI.

I hope that answers it sufficiently. Let me know if you'd like any more/other info.

And thanks!

OK. That makes sense. It does seem like you're adding to the information
that is collected and sent back to the server. Is this disclosed to the user?

Gary Lasker (gary-lasker) wrote :

Yes, it's disclosed in the disclaimer text that allows the user to opt-in to the recommendations service. The text is "To make recommendations Ubuntu Software Center will occasionally send to Canonical a list of software currently installed." I feel that this covers that case that we are discussing here, but of course it's very important that we be perfectly accurate so I would like to know if you (or anybody else) feels that this feature as described does not seem covered by this text. If that's the case, we'll need to update the text in the panel.

Thanks again!

Gary Lasker (gary-lasker) wrote :

Hi folks, this is just a ping on this one as we're hoping to merge this feature soon. I believe we are in good shape regarding Scott's questions/concerns (thanks for that, Scott), but if not, please let me know if we need to change anything.


Scott Kitterman (kitterman) wrote :

You've answered my questions, so I've no objections to this one, but I haven't had a chance to review it in detail, so I'm not prepared to say yes. If anyone else on the release team wants to review/approve, please go ahead.

Steve Langasek (vorlon) wrote :

FFe approved.

Changed in software-center (Ubuntu):
status: New → Triaged
Gary Lasker (gary-lasker) wrote :

Thank you, Scott and Steve!!

Changed in software-center (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Gary Lasker (gary-lasker)
importance: Undecided → High
status: Triaged → Fix Committed
importance: High → Medium
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package software-center - 5.3.11

software-center (5.3.11) quantal; urgency=low

  [ Michael Vogt ]
  * lp:~mvo/software-center/speedup2:
    - startup time improvements
  * lp:~mvo/software-center/adt-you-make-my-life-hard:
    - updates to make the tests run as user
  * debian/tests/run-tests, run-tests.sh:
    - ensure there is a apt-xapian-index available as this is not
      automatically created in the ADT test VM environment
    - fail to run the tests if there is no apt-xapian-index
  * lp:~mvo/software-center/lp1045330:
    - return an empty string if there is no price instead
      of the "None" string and add test (LP: #1045330)
  * lp:~mvo/software-center/lp1044900:
    - add local "trans" var to fix crash (LP: #1044900)
  * lp:~mvo/software-center/fix-init:
    - fix some incorrect __init__() calls
  * lp:~mvo/software-center/fix-fixme-lp1045330:
    - test case update, fix a FIXME in the dataprovider
      test by providing its own private dbus connection
      instead of using the system bus
  * lp:~mvo/software-center/lp1045826:
    - fix double display of currency and cleanup around
      this code (LP: #1045826)
  * lp:~mvo/software-center/trivial-restore-state-fix:
    - improvements to the initial window size code and
      make the window size config a property that supports

  [ Aaron Peachey ]
  * lp:~aaronp/software-center/review-refactor:
    - This branch simply converts the existing callbacks for retrieval
      of review data and submission/deletion/modification of reviews
      to GObject signals (courtesy of mvo) which makes it more consistent
      with the rest of the code

  [ Gary Lasker ]
  * lp:~gary-lasker/software-center/recommended-installed-feedback:
    - signal the recommender service when a recommended item has been
      successfully installed, refactor and clean up surrounding code,
      new unit tests for the feature (LP: #944060, LP: #1044107)
 -- Michael Vogt <email address hidden> Fri, 07 Sep 2012 09:36:45 +0200

Changed in software-center (Ubuntu):
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
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