All entries for Saturday 02 February 2008

February 02, 2008

One Click Install Hot–Linking

I’ve noticed a trend of people hot-linking ‘One-Click-Install’ YMP files directly from http://software.opensuse.org on their blogs and news stories. While it’s great that people are including these it is worth considering whether it would be wise to take a copy of the YMP file and host it yourselves, or on openSUSE wiki, or somewhere else which can host static content.

If your web-host doesn’t understand the YMP mimetype a link directly to a YMP file will not work, you can work around this using “data:” URLs by creating a link as follows:

data:text/x-suse-ymu,{link}

e.g.

<a href="data:text/x-suse-ymu,http://example.com/mysoftware.ymp">My Install Link</a>

The install links on http://software.opensuse.org/search are:

  • Auto-generated.
  • Subject to deletion/renaming at any time.

If you blog including a link taken directly from there then other people may simply copy it onto their blog/news site, and if the original disappears, or you need to make a change you end up with lots of broken or outdated links everywhere, even if you update your blog.

If someone points out a problem (need another package included, or a conflicting package removed, etc, then there’s no way to fix it. Additionally the YMPs generated by the buildservice are fairly inflexible at present as they are auto-generated from patterns. You might wish to alter it in a way not supported by the build-service.

Hotlinking is most likely to lead to headaches when the YMPs are complex, and frequently changing. Like the “install KDE4” links for example.

Hopefully that should help inform so as to enable you to make a decision as to whether to hotlink or copy the YMP.


Software Portal Progress

Some people have commented on the lack of public progress on the Software Portal Project so I suppose I should blog about it.

The goal of the project is to make it easy for users to locate and install software.

Some distributions are shipping with simplified application installers now (Such as Ubuntu’s “Add/Remove Applications”), these abstract away from the detail of packages and display only applications to the user. So, for example a package such as kdenetwork may contain multiple applications (kopete, knewsticker, ... ) and other applications such as amarok may be composed of multiple packages (amarok, amarok-xine, ...). The simplified installers therefore only show the applications themselves: amarok, kopete, knewsticker.

The software portal combines automatic detection of applications from package repository metadata, with user generated content. So it can import metadata from the main distribution repositories, buildservice repositories, packman, etc, and then detect applications which will then be browsable by the users. Users can submit new applications, and edit existing ones where the autodetection was not perfect. Users can attach screenshots, tags, comments etc to existing applications. Users will be able to install applications using a one click install link.

So how much is complete? We announced the project 9 months or so ago, progress has been slow as all those involved have been busy. Nevertheless there has been tangible progress.

Here are some screenshots


application view


application view

[More]

Now that Pascal has added support for users and roles all the core components are in place. Now it’s a case of Features features features. At some point we need to decide what features are necessary for an initial release.

I hope this has enlightened some as to what the software portal project is about, let us know if you have any suggestions or comments. There is a mailing list . Help is even more welcome than comments ;)


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  • Hey skx, how do you do that ? I run into the fu….. problem, that curl terminate with unspec. error… by David on this entry
  • With some minor changes this will also work for updating from 11.0 to 11.1. by skx on this entry
  • You are the man!!! Great work and good documentation! It worked without any problem for me. Thanks a… by Vany on this entry
  • didn't work for me. In fact killed the system. Have to download 11.0 and burn to dvd to fix it. by maybe windows on this entry
  • Will this method work for 11 => 11.1 ? by Erik Jakobsen on this entry

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