[ALL] New showroom for Openmoko apps

Sebastian Krzyszkowiak seba.dos1 at gmail.com
Thu Aug 20 16:04:49 CEST 2009

On 8/20/09, Risto H. Kurppa <risto at kurppa.fi> wrote:
> 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!
> But:
> opkg.org is has many outdated and broken packages with missing dependencies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:
> http://www.apple.com/iphone/iphone-3gs/app-store.html
> http://www.android.com/market/
> https://store.ovi.com/?lid=storeherotxt&cid=ovistore-fw-ilc-body-acq-na-ovicom-g0-na-2&lang=fi-FI
> http://getdeb.net/
> http://maemo.org/downloads/OS2008/
> 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
> (GPL..)
> 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
> contribute.
> 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
> http://lists.openmoko.org/pipermail/community/2008-October/thread.html#33132
> 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
> software.
> So I'd prefer using the existing/official repositories and try to find
> maintainers, not start a new fragmented repository for each
> distribution
> 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
> distributions.
> What do you think?

My opinion is simple. Developer of app provides bb file (or asks
someone to write it) and then all distros provide that app in repo.
And that's all.

That's distro maintainers who should do packages, not app developers!
When app developers do packaging, then resulting pkgs are outdated and
unusable after some not-so-long time. When it's added into
distribution build system, then the only problem can be compilation
error. That's why I think there is no need for pages like opkg.org,
eventually for very simple apps without any special dependences.

Sebastian Krzyszkowiak

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