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Introducing AppStream, Multi-Distro App Framework

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  • Introducing AppStream, Multi-Distro App Framework

    Phoronix: Introducing AppStream, Multi-Distro App Framework

    Recently in Germany there was a cross-distribution meeting among the major vendors (Red Hat, Canonical, Novell, Debian, Mandriva, etc) to discuss a common application installer for Linux and one unified application store / market-place. The goal would be to have a common user-interface for application installation, how/what meta-data to use, determine a defined protocol for non-static meta-data, and decide what meta-data to share across distributions. Fortunately, this was a very successful meeting...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=OTA1MA

  • #2
    Yfrwlf will be somewhat glad to see this, I guess.

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    • #3
      Wow this looks like it could be really good

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      • #4
        The AppStream interface will just be a front-end to PackageKit so that each distribution can then continue rely upon their existing package management systems, but the complexities are hidden from the user.
        Ughh mare packagekit crap to screw up.

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        • #5
          Wait, so in Fedora it will be: AppStream -> PackageKit -> yum -> rpm?

          Look I understand the need for standardization, but this design is a highway to fail.

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          • #6
            And Gentoo!!!

            Personally, I think a self contained installer script that dumps files into /opt is the way to go.. Cross platform and independent of the distro's package manager.

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            • #7
              "Looks like it could be good" but I'll wait and see how it really turns out.

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              • #8
                If they can pull this off it will be awesome, this could make it easier for developers that make software for Linux to target it. IMHO installing applications that are not in the distros repositories I think is the last really difficult thing for Desktop Linux users, especially if they have to compile it.

                However it seems they did not yet address the lower level stuff, of what the packages are going to look like, how dependencies are handled, libraries are managed with ld.so, and stuff like that, or how updates for these will be handled.

                It seems very early in the planning stage, so I bet this probably will probably come up, and be discussed soon...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by r1348 View Post
                  Wait, so in Fedora it will be: AppStream -> PackageKit -> yum -> rpm?

                  Look I understand the need for standardization, but this design is a highway to fail.
                  Don't be silly. ALL software is abstraction. 50% of programming is transforming data from one representation to another simpler representation, and the other 50% is abstracting details away behind higher level interfaces.


                  The real sad part is that all this is doing is giving everyone a pretty UI for browsing the per-version-per-distro packages. As a third-party distributor, you're still stuck packaging your app 50 times or waiting for a packager to adopt your software for a particular distribution. As a user, you're still stuck with out of date or just flat out missing packages for many applications and simply no packages for any non-FOSS software you happen to want (even though RMS says that makes you a kitten rapist).

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                  • #10
                    Will this solve the problem that people have creating installers for all the different distros, for instance Blizzard has cited that fragmentation makes it too costly to port their games to Linux? If it doesn't solve those problems, then was anything truly great really accomplished, except to reduce needed development hours spent on it so it can be spent elsewhere? If it does then that would be truly spectacular.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Prescience500 View Post
                      Will this solve the problem that people have creating installers for all the different distros, for instance Blizzard has cited that fragmentation makes it too costly to port their games to Linux? If it doesn't solve those problems, then was anything truly great really accomplished, except to reduce needed development hours spent on it so it can be spent elsewhere? If it does then that would be truly spectacular.
                      NO, it simply allows the same douche baggy development packaging to continue that cuased game ports to not come over to linux.

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                      • #12
                        They should had started on this 5 years ago, but damn, finally.

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                        • #13
                          Mageia not Mandriva

                          Great project indeed. Just as an information, Mageia was there not Mandriva. It was one of the main goals of Mageia team to develop cross distro collaboration and we hope we will have plenty of others.

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                          • #14
                            didn't click'n'run solve all of this in 2007?
                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CNR_%28software%29

                            you could put the CNR client on many distros, upstreams only had to do packaging once and it could handle foss, freeware and paid-for apps.

                            my personal solution would be something that could install packages (maybe debs) into a nice sandbox in $HOME. I know it would not work for everything, but for most desktop apps it would be fine.

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                            • #15
                              excellent direction

                              now we need to "develop" a single package/tool/format/protocol/whatever that will allow us to do something like

                              Appstream> Install App > Play without underlying complexity of layers upon layers

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