[ALL] New showroom for Openmoko apps

Risto H. Kurppa risto at kurppa.fi
Thu Aug 20 15:46:17 CEST 2009

Hi there!

I think a new showroom for community created application is needed to
boost the development and help users to get to know new apps easily.
Now we have opkg.org to show & distribute the apps created by the
community for Freerunner.

opkg.org has allowed us to easily see what apps are new in the
community, the comment system has alowed us to get in touch with the
developer/packager and we've seen nice screeshots there to encourage
us to try apps. Also the release of opkg.org repository was great!

opkg.org is has many outdated and broken packages with missing dependencies
opkg.org doesn't separate packages for different distributions
opkg.org doesn't share the source codes as per GPL
opkg.org code can be changed only by the main developer
opkg.org developer doesn't seem to be working on it any more (since April)
opkg.org developer is not an easy fish to catch

Now have a look at these:

They all
a) show a screenshot
b) allow a more or less easy installation of the selected app

For Freerunner, we need something like this to do the trick. Being
easily able to promote applications will inspire devels to write apps
which the makes the users and other devels more satisfied with
Freerunner and inspire more developers to participate. Repositories
are nice but there needs to be a way for people to know what apps are
now in. Ubuntu with ~30 000 packages doesn't inspire me to try even a
music player without comments from others and a screenshot.


Landing to the site would let you select your preferred distribution.
SHR, OM2009, Debian, OpenWRT, ..? - possibly include also
stable/testing/unstable versions. After this you would only see the
apps that have been marked as tested on that distribution.

Installation would be done from a repository - the best would be to
use the ~official repositories for each distribution (openembedded,
openmoko, shr, fso-pkg/deb etc) OR we build a new repository only for
apps presented in the showroom, a different one for each distribution.
And if there is a repository, also the source code needs to be there

Then next level would be to create a gui for Freerunner to show the
screenshots and allow easy installation, something like apturl. Maybe
this functionality could be built on top of one of the existing
graphical package managers?

And last but not least, allow more people than only one to have access
on the site code..

I'm sure there are some people in the community who feel like doing
something to support the community but don't have the skills to hack
the kernel: this is an opportunity for all PHP/Django/Web gurus to

Does anyone know if software enabling this exists? Could eg. Launchpad be used?


There's nothing new here: all this was suggested already 10 months ago
when opkg.org was announced, see

Separation for each distribution is naturally required: all packages
created for SHR just won't work on OM2009 as the lib versions are not
the same etc, and then we have the debian-based distributions too and
so on..

Problem with packages in opkg.org and packages in random websites (as
well as some packages in the repositories) is that if they use lib X
and lib X version is updated, the app Y stops working without the
author/maintainer knowing about it until weeks later, or maybe the
kernel paths change again. So next time they decide to include the
whole lib X in their app just to be sure it doesn't happen again. The
lack of coordination and communication results broken and/or bloated

So I'd prefer using the existing/official repositories and try to find
maintainers, not start a new fragmented repository for each

We need package maintainers who make sure a new nice community-written
app will be added to the official repositories of distributions, I
think it's not good to expect the author can create packages for say 5


What do you think?


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