[maemo-developers] Software categories

From: Marius Vollmer marius.vollmer at nokia.com
Date: Fri Aug 17 13:29:19 EEST 2007
Ed Bartosh <eduard.bartosh at nokia.com> writes:

> BTW, Debian and other linux distributions proved central repository
> concept long time ago. I have no idea why we didn't follow it from
> the start, but re-invented Windows-like one-click installations
> instead.

Yeah, the fact that .install files can add arbitrary repositories and
the fact that the Application Manager allows users to edit
/etc/apt/sources.list makes the current repository mess possible.  And
the .install file feature has probably contributed to it (by making
the mess a bit more tolerable).

But the basic feature of a .install file, the ability to click on a
link in a web-page and trigger the installation of a package that way
does not contribute to the repository mess.

'Single-Click-Install' from a web page is a nice feature also when you
have a single, central repository.  The web is much better at reaching
the end users than the Application Manager.  When you read the
announcement of a new package on planet maemo, you can get it with a
single click, you don't need to open the AM and find the package.

This is not (necessarily) Windows-like: you do not download an
installer that knows nothing about the system or other installers, you
just get the name of a package that is then installed from the central

Now, would it be better if the Application Manager would enforce a
central repository?  I don't think so.  People should always be able
to do their own thing and it is not the job of the Application Manager
to enforce policy.  We should reduce the mess by doing the right thing
by default so that people will not feel the need to create their own

I think we are in a good position now to figure out why there are so
many repositories and to ask the maintainers of the existing
repositories to put their packages into the Extras repository instead.

But I also think that the flexibility we have now (aka, the "power to
create a mess") was ultimately helpful.

> They also provide an easy way for users to get confused when some
> maemo enthusiast stops providing his/her repository. In this case AM
> will suddenly stop updating indexes.

Yes, error reporting is quite bad right now.  It will be improved in
the next major release.

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