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New Simplifier release 28.3.1 "Canonical Claims"

One of the main nuisances that users have reported over the last few years, is other projects and packages containing their resources. In itself this is a very natural process: the more official a project or package is, the bigger the chance that one of your resources is used for testing by others. And we want to allow that in Simplifier. What we don't want (of course) is people getting confused over where the official version of these resources is. In the past we have done that mostly with differentiating between official and test projects. But that signal was not picked up by all users, both authors not using it properly and visitors not seeing it.

The core of this problem is about canonicals, that are basically used and recognized as a certificate or a proof of origin. For that reason we already had canonical claims on projects (declaring that canonicals that started with the claim, are official), but other than listing the claims, we didn't do much with it. We have now matured that concept and given it a much more prominent place in Simplifier:

  • Every canonical is now valued as: official, unofficial or unknown
  • As long as a canonical is not claimed, it will not be official
  • Packages now also have canonical claims
  • Management of claims has been simplified improved a lot
  • Although we have not seen this yet: if someone would make an official claim illegally, it can be revoked
  • The user interface for canonicals is now much clearer, with labels, colors and explanations for consumers
  • The user interface for claims is now much clearer for authors, colors, explanation and a call to action
  • Site admins (support) can now register and revoke claims
  • We have built an administrative overview of conflicting canonicals
  • The new search (still beta) takes into account the status of claims and canonicals in ranking. The net result is that if you now visit a project, a package or a resource, you can immediately see if that is the official source. And as an author, you can immediately see what you have to fix to get your project or package in a proper state.

Additionally, we have built canonical claim checking into Quality Control. You will get a warning if you do not have claims. And you will get an warning if a canonical does not match any claim.

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