Finding the best packages for your needs

Withnearly 7,000 new packages published over the past year, you have no shortage of options when looking for packages to extend the functionality of your apps. But with so many packages to choose from, naturally you want the most liked, highest quality, and most popular packages to bubble to the surface. To support better package search results, we’ve redesigned the scoring system in around three dimensions:

  1. Likes: A measure of how many developers have liked a package. This provides a raw measure of the overall sentiment toward a package.
  2. Pub points: A new measure of quality. This includes several dimensions of quality such as code style, platform support, and maintainability. More about this below.
  3. Popularity: A measure of how many developers use a package. This reflects the number of apps that depend on the package over the past sixty days. The normalized scale ranges from 100% (the most used package) to 0% (the least used package), but we’re investigating whether we can provide absolute usage counts in a future version.

We hope that these new dimensions help both package consumers who are looking for packages to depend on, and package publishers working on shipping a high quality packages.

Measuring quality with pub points

With likes and popularity providing community-sourced, subjective measures, the goal of pub points is to provide a close approximation of measurable, objective quality. This isn’t easy; developers perceive quality in a variety of ways, but we still believe that most developers look for core traits that we can measure.

We expect to add more checks and categories for pub points over time, raising the ceiling for how many points a package can have. For example, we plan to add a score for supporting null safety when that feature launches. 

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