August 15, 2007

Package Manager + WebServices = ?

One of the things it would be nice to do in future versions of openSUSE (after 10.3) is connect the package management user interface up to webservices such as the openSUSE buildservice api , my package search api , or the software portal api once it is ready.

This would enable users to find and install software whether or not they have previously subscribed their package manager to the relevant repository. Potentially in the event of a dependency resolution failure a webservice could also be used to attempt to find a solution.

This evening I knocked up a quick functional demo YaST module which talks both to the local system package management, and the package search api. This screenshot shows it with search results for “tux” from:

  • The local system rpm database
  • The package manager’s repository cache
  • Webpin search results

and actually installing a package.

This took about 1 hour from conception to the screenshot above. With a little time some quite exciting features could be developed utilising webservices.

The main challenges to making use of webservices from client like this are:

  • Defining the API carefully enough so it can remain constant for the lifetime of the product.
  • Hosting to cope with the potentially large number of requests arising from integrating web services with client-side software.

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Most recent comments

  • 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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