Cross-Distro meeting about application-installer

From January 19th-21st the AppInstaller-Meeting will take place in Nürnberg, Germany. The major goal of this meeting is to define how a software-center (also known as stoftware-“store”, I don’t really like that term, as it does not describe the service well) should work, which data can be shared by distributions and if there could be a common UI for an user-friendly software-center. (Take the Ubuntu Software Center as an example)

I just quote the “blue-sky-goals”, which were defined for the meeting:

  • agree on a common UI to install applications
  • agree on what metadata to use, how to generate it, where to host it
  • agree on a protocol to use to provide non-static metadata (featured apps, ratings, comments, etc.)
  • decide what metadata can be shared between distros, and what should stay distro-specific (eg: do we want user comments to be shared?)

As you can see, the Listaller project is directly affected by the results of this meeting. I was asked to attend the meeting too (Nürnberg is a four-hours trip away from my city), but unfortunately I can’t go there. Since one of Listaller’s goals was to provide a similar feature (but limited to uninstallations), I might drop the related parts from UI after the meeting, if someone starts developing a cross-distro AppManager. PackageKit will get Listaller integration, therefore I don’t think it’s needed anymore cause any application can access PackageKit and the standardized application-data then. (Which is similar to what Listaller does at time) Instead, I’ll focus on the “waste-of-time, stupid, unneccessary”-part of Listaller, which is the global distro-independent software installer, which also features a new setup package format. (will also support installation of themes etc. later) Listaller core will get support for whatever is decided at this meeting. I recently implemented Richard Hughes’ AppInstall-spec to check if an application is already installed, uninstall an app, fetch metadata etc. (Yipee, more changes to the ugly database abstraction stuff in LI!)

As you can see, I have very high expectations to this meeting, and I think it will work out great! (Some parts are already nearly cross-ditro, like some metadata we use to enrich the AppManager UI. (For example Fedora could start using the Debian screenshot service if there were only a few modifications in the API…)

Anyway, I’ll inform about the results of this meeting, if I got them 🙂 If need more information right now, please follow these links:

Whitepage about the meeting at fd.o

Vincent Untz’ (openSUSE) blog entry about the meeting (kudos to Vincent, Richard and Micheal for starting this great project!)

Debian will attend too! (Stefano Zacchiroli’s blog) – after all the pain with PackageKit and Debconf, it’s great to have Debian people there!

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