February 02, 2008

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 ;)


- 4 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. george

    the mailing list link shows a sign in for Novell. Is the portal a opensuse project or a Novell one? Since I am a member of SuSE development I can sign into Opensuse and when I go to Discover It this project is listed under opensuse so is the link correct?

    03 Feb 2008, 10:16

  2. We are using Novell Forge to host the project source code and mailing list, it is just somewhere to keep it (like sourceforge or google code hosting). The project is not affiliated with Novell.

    You should be able to log in with the same user account you use to log into the openSUSE wiki etc.

    03 Feb 2008, 10:21

  3. Christopher

    People always want more than whats presented to them. I, for one, have been impressed with how quickly this site came together.

    It was one of the selling points that pushed me over the edge from using Ubuntu to openSUSE. I hate fumbling with RPMs and Smart doesn’t always function. While I haven’t found a good CLI solution, this will suffice for now.

    We’ve been moving a lot of machines at the office to openSUSE as well and the software portal makes that transition much easier.

    03 Feb 2008, 17:46

  4. John

    will we have some kind of simplified application installer, as well???

    something to at least let us uninstall what we have just installed for trying…

    Be able to revert what was installed with the one-click install is really a “must have” for me.

    Is this planned???

    Thanks

    27 Feb 2008, 00:20


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