Popularity sort on extensions.gnome.org

Hi! I wasn’t sure where to put this question, but I thought it might fit here as the Extensions-Web repo is also under Infrastructure. Feel free to move it if I’m wrong.

I was just curious to know how “popularity” for extensions listed on extensions.gnome.org is determined. It’s the default sorting method used, so I imagine it’s the one given the most weight and used by most people, but it seems to be very far off for many extensions compared to how I’d expect it to work.

If you sort by popularity and check the very last pages you’ll see a bunch of maintained, highly popular extensions. Take Dash to Dock for example. It’s currently the #1 (Gnome 46 compatible) extension when you sort by total downloads, but second to last out of all extensions when it comes to “popularity” (currently page 52 for Gnome 46, page 219 for all versions). Surrounding it are all extensions with high download numbers as well.

Unless I’m misunderstanding what popularity means in this context this seems to paint a wrong picture of which extensions are actually popular, compared to just sorting by the total amount of downloads and filtering for compatibility.

I’m aware of extensions.gnome.org being in need of a revamp which I’ve seen is already underway at extensions-next.gnome.org, but it seems to mostly consist of front-end related changes and uses the same backend. I couldn’t find any prior discussion on this topic specifically (though granted I’ve mostly searched in publicly indexed places, like here), so I figured I’d ask in case anyone else wonders the same thing.
I also tried to answer my own question by reading the Extensions-Web/SweetTooth-Web source code, but I did not manage to figure it out (skill issue on my part I suppose).

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At my attempt at looking at this, it seems popularity means “got enabled within the last 7 days”.

When you enable or disable an extension, that is then stored in the backend along with the current date, and every day it aggregates the popularity entries for the last 7 days.

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