Hello openSUSE!

Hello Planet!

I am Matthias Klumpp and I will work on making AppStream work for openSUSE as part of the Google Summer of Code this year. I study Molecular Biomedicine in my second semester in Germany and I use Linux for years now.

I contribute to KDE (mainly to Apper, the PackageKit-based KDE package manager) and I am PackageKit upstream developer, as well as the maintainer of Listaller, a cross-distro application installer, which has the goal to make installations on multiple distributions using just one package as easy, secure and integrated as possible. (Yes, repos and native packages have some issues, just before you ask the obvious question ^^)

I’m not really a typical KDE user, as I also use GNOME from time to time and contribute to GNOME (but just very unimportant things for now). Knowing both desktops and both communities is usually an advantage, and therefore I very much enjoyed the last Desktop Summit in Berlin.  If you’ve been there, you might have met me there already 😉

I am Debian Maintainer and maintain all PackageKit and most PackageKit-related packages there. This means I also use Debian, so doing a project for openSUSE might look strange on the first look. But’s it’s not strange at all: I’m working on a cross-distro project so the distribution doesn’t matter that much. And I already know openSUSE. In fact, it was SuSE 9.3 I guess, which was the first Linux distribution I ever tried. And I used (open)SUSE 10.x for a long time, until switching to Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu and then back to Debian. (The (K)Ubuntu->Debian switch was political, but now Canonical is giving me technical reasons too… – But better not talk about that issue, otherwise this blogpost will become way longer than I want it to be :P) Anyway, openSUSE is already running here again (in a VM for now) and I already did some modifications on the Software-Center, after reactivating my Python skills. (which are small, but good enough – I like Vala/C/C++ more) Next few weeks will be about getting to know the openSUSE community and reading Python-code.

In general kudos to openSUSE for doing the cross-distro tasks which no other distribution does. OpenSUSE has always been the distribution with the highest activity in this area, although they could’ve said “we don’t care about collaboration and interoperability”, which would’ve been perfectly sane. My greatest respect for that open-minded attitude and I’m really happy to work with you all!

This will be an exciting time!

8 Comments

  • victorhck commented on 30. April 2012 Reply

    Hi!
    Thank’s for your contribution to GNU/Linux and openSUSE!
    It’s with people like you that GNU/Linux (not this distro, or the other…) becomes in something great!
    Good luck with your work, and project in GSOC2012.
    And don’t forget: Have a lot of fun!! 😉
    Bye

  • John McHugh commented on 14. June 2012 Reply

    Maybe this would be useful to you. https://code.launchpad.net/~lubuntu-software-center-team/lubuntu-software-center/vala-port , Its basically a port of ubuntu software center to vala, a better language to achieve what you want if you ask me.

    • Ximion commented on 14. June 2012 Reply

      +1 for Vala! (I love to use it :P)
      I also remember some Xubuntu guys asking me on how to implement a Software-Center on PackageKit and how to adjust GNOME-PackageKit, so maybe this is the outcome.
      My GSoC is about the USC, but after I finished it, I’ll take a very close look at this project and probably contribute some patches for AppStream, if this is wanted.
      But first tune PackageKit, then work on frontends 😉
      Many thanks for the hint, it’s an interesting project!

      • John McHugh commented on 15. June 2012 Reply

        lol, sorry for smamming your blog but the elementary guys wanted me to point you towards their app center project which is a gtk3, packagekit vala application software center in the same vein as ubuntu software enter.
        Its still got a ways to go but you can find the code here ->

        https://code.launchpad.net/~elementary-apps/appcenter/appcenter

        • Ximion commented on 18. June 2012

          Also a nice project! (and I like the Elementary style) The code looks like it is in a _very_ early stage at time.
          Maybe there are opportunities to join forces on this issue? (Or at least share code between the projects)
          It is important to have an alternative to the USC, IMHO.
          I’ll look into these projects after I finished my SoC and made the necessary adjustments on PackageKit.
          Thank you for the hints, it’s no spam at all, this is very useful information! What is your role in this? Are you connected to these projects? (user/developer/etc.)
          Thanks!

  • Blaise commented on 22. June 2012 Reply

    Is there a place where we can track the evolution of your GSOC project? A blog? Trello? something…

    Thanks a lot 🙂

    • Ximion commented on 22. June 2012 Reply

      Hi! I’ll write a bigger blogpost on June 6th, when I finished my exams which are running at time (I can’t do much for the SoC during that time, our exams are very exhausting)
      You can also track the project by subscribing to distributions@lists.freedesktop.org, where I publish small status reports and stuff for discussion or opensuse-project mailinglist. (Or PackageKit ML, as I’m working on PK at time to make it possible to implement a usable SC with it)
      Just FYI: I already made the SC *a lot* faster, removed some stuff which made in impossible to run the SC on other distros than Ubuntu/Debian, introduced a package-cache on PK, which was a workaround for some PK problems and very much disliked by everyone including me. Right now I’m working together with Richard Hughes in implementing parallel transactions, which e.g. allow to display details about one package while installing another one, which is crucial for using the SC. Improving PK is not that easy, there’ve been many changes already and more to come 🙂
      Thanks for your interest!

  • Blaise commented on 26. June 2012 Reply

    I have another question: Will the (openSUSE) Software Center be able to perform automatic upgrades like the one from Ubuntu (without the user have to manually change repos)?

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