[ALL] New showroom for Openmoko apps

Michael Pilgermann KichKasch at gmx.de
Fri Aug 21 09:44:21 CEST 2009

Dear all,

maybe, another perspective here from an apps developer's point of view:

I do believe, that we need a proper / nice directory of applications, which users may browse through. I am aware of the following repositories right now:

- openmoko wiki - applications (I think, it is a good starting point if you look for something; but could be somehow more fashined - and up to date)
- opkg.org - good for uploading (or linking) releases - though, I never used it as a repository (somehow I didn't feel it's a proper rep)
- openmoko projects - from my view a good development plattform, which is doing the job (it is just not too fancy - but, come on, we are developers)
- community updates
- new: SHR manual (also telling me some bits and pieces about software)
- *** did I forget something? probably I did ***

So, when doing a release right now - I have to update 4 pages already (openmoko projects, opkg.org, community updates and SHR manual), because each of them comes with its own installation instructions (the wiki is rather static).

What I want to point out first of all:

* We do not need another plattform ON TOP of all this *

We should rather go and integrate stuff. For me, openmoko projects server (gforge) is a very good starting point for that:
* source code management (svn)
* file releases
* bug tracking, feature requests
* news support
* and WIKI functionality

I think, we should really keep this as a basis.

But I think, it is not a good plattform for people to browse projects. There is a point of establishing something "inviting* here. However, I would suggest the following points:

* Make it a really simple, good-looking overview of applications to browse through
* Keep Openmoko projects as development repository - do not duplicate stuff, we have in there already (put links instead)
* Make it possible to easily install applications (simple instructions as given in opkg.org - so we wouldn't need this plattform anymore)
* Do not maintain another list on openmoko wiki - instead put a link there to this new directory
* Whenever you present information about a project (e.g. community newsletter or user manuals) provide a link to the app inside this plattform instead of detailling installation instructions (they might change from one version to the next)
* Support community input (comments, maybe voting)
* Again: Make it beautiful and simple.

For the packaging issue - I really like the idea of boosting the process to integrate into reps / distributions. (this would btw. ease the process of installation).
However, documentation on how to do this is really rare. One could probably find a way to create a bb file (and also further required files) - but the way on 

* how to get this into a rep. / distribtution? * 

is really not transparent. Whom do I need to contact? Do I have to file an issue somewhere? The Openmoko wiki is not really helpful about this topic.

Lasts words:
I wouldn't spend too much time when bringing up a SHOWROOM on tricky, technical stuff. Just a plain, simple, beautiful web site (supporting categories and distributions is nice I think) and - at least for now - manual installation instructions.
I think, every OM user is able to run 'opkg install <APPNAME>'. It would be a great step forward, if deps are resolved and so on ...

Very last words:
Please do not put anything up, when there is no time / resources to maintain it. It would be a shame to waste so much efforts


-------- Original-Nachricht --------
> Datum: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 16:04:49 +0200
> Von: Sebastian Krzyszkowiak <seba.dos1 at gmail.com>
> An: List for Openmoko community discussion <community at lists.openmoko.org>
> Betreff: Re: [ALL] New showroom for Openmoko apps

> 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
> dos
> _______________________________________________
> Openmoko community mailing list
> community at lists.openmoko.org
> http://lists.openmoko.org/mailman/listinfo/community

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