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When should a ROS package be published?

asked 2019-09-24 15:28:20 -0500

nbro gravatar image

updated 2019-09-24 15:29:19 -0500

I developed a ROS package that can be used to synchronize the messages associated with the topics in a bag file. You can find it here: So far, it supports TimeSynchronizer, ApproximateTimeSynchronizer and SimpleFilter, but, in the future, if there is a request, I could extend it for more use cases.

I am unsure whether to publish this ROS package or not, even though I've read this other question and I quickly skimmed through this article Releasing a ROS package.

When should I publish a ROS package? Specifically, do you think that this simple ROS package deserves to be published?

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answered 2019-09-25 07:33:10 -0500

There are no hard and fast rules for when to publish a package, but there are a few important things to consider. Your repository looks pretty tidy, you've already got a licence and some examples so could be ready to publish.

Do you expect the API or command line interfaces to your utility to change in the foreseeable future? Packages are expected to be maintained with the same interfaces with deprecation warnings being added before functions are removed. If your package is still in the development phase where these things are being altered then it's probably not time to publish it.

Have you got any feedback off any other users using this? It's always good to get a second pair of eyes to look at (and try and break it) before publishing it officially. Maybe another user reading this question may have a use and will do this for you.

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Ok, thanks for your suggestion! I've not yet received any feedback from any other person. Maybe you could try it out and tell me something?

nbro gravatar image nbro  ( 2019-09-25 08:00:10 -0500 )edit

I don't have the time or data to throw at this I'm afraid. You could try the ROS discourse mailing list, it is more focused towards developers than this forum.

PeteBlackerThe3rd gravatar image PeteBlackerThe3rd  ( 2019-09-25 08:29:19 -0500 )edit

answered 2019-09-25 12:50:52 -0500

kscottz gravatar image

I think Pete's answer is pretty good. I would like to add a few other suggestions.

1) I would suggest you add a set of unit and integration tests with your package. This will help you with maintenance over the long run.

2) I saw a large bag file (~12MB) in the repository. It is totally reasonable to have a file appropriate for testing, but I would suggest making it as small as you think you can get away with.

3) I would think long and hard about how much effort you want to put into maintaining your package. If you don't think you can make the commitment to maintaining the repo I would find someone else to help you out.

4) If you want to get feedback perhaps go put a post up on It is a good way to get others to look at your code.

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Asked: 2019-09-24 15:28:20 -0500

Seen: 70 times

Last updated: Sep 25 '19