I did a dive into tracking downloads from github and it turns out that it is possible. Github support was very helpful and I am confident this is based on the relevant current practices and capabilities.
Running the below on the command line (I think all OSs have curl):
yields the following for the latest CmdStan release:
<snip> "size": 50006786, "download_count": 6329, "created_at": "2020-10-26T14:23:12Z", "updated_at": "2020-10-26T14:23:24Z", "browser_download_url": "https://github.com/stan-dev/cmdstan/releases/download/v2.25.0/cmdstan-2.25.0.tar.gz" } <snip>
"download_count": 6329 applies only to the the explicit tarball that @serban-nicusor presumably put there. The other tar/zip files that you see in the releases interface are automatically generated and NOT counted. You can tell by seeing if there is a file size reported.
- Do we want to add more tracking as a matter of policy? We don’t have solid metrics on Stan ecosystem usage for non-R packages, we have excellent tracking from CRAN for RStan … with the exception of CmdStanR.
- Repos that don’t create and add a tarball or installer for releases cannot be tracked. Do we want to change this? Looking around we can track currently:
- StanC3 (but lots of custom assets to track there)
- If you want tracking for your work, then add an installer or tar.gz file explicitly for people to download. I know that I tend to click on explicit tarballs rather than ‘download source’ which is what the automatically generated links are labeled.
- We can also use it for documentation .pdfs if we serve them from a release rather than a directory in the repo, e.g.
would change to
as linked from https://mc-stan.org/users/documentation/. So we would also have to do releases from documentation, there is only one now for 2.23.