[maemo-users] the hell of Maemo repos

From: Ryan Abel rabelg5 at gmail.com
Date: Sat Nov 22 02:04:23 EET 2008
On Nov 21, 2008, at 6:24 PM, Mark wrote:

> On Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 3:56 PM, Ryan Abel <rabelg5 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Clearly transitions like these can cause some short-term instability
>> that makes things harder for specific individuals, but the overall
>> effect for the community, and the long-term effect for everybody is  
>> an
>> environment with lots of high-quality, easy-to-install packages
>> available from right when you take your new device out of the box and
>> open up the Application Manager (Extras will hopefully come enabled  
>> by
>> default with Maemo 5).[3]
> Nobody's arguing that moving things to the maemo repositories is bad,
> the issue is the process.

Oh? That's what it sounded like to me. Hey, guess I misunderstood.

> However, you must not be using Application Manager if you think  
> "easy-to-install"
> is an accurate description. I always have to make a minimum of three  
> attempts to
> update the package lists before it finally goes through.

Then something's wrong with your internet, your tablet, or wrong with  
the repositories you've added to your catalog. I haven't had a failed  
refresh in a long time.

> The descriptions are frequently insufficient to figure out what a  
> package is or does.

This is a packager issue, maemo.org has no control over how people  
describe their packages. Good descriptions will likely come as part of  
the QA program[1]

If they haven't put in a useful description, perhaps it's because  
they're having a hard time thinking one up (I know from personal  
experience that describing your own work isn't easy). Maybe they'd  
appreciate it if you sent them an email with a suggested description?  
Or even just sent them an email asking for one. Perhaps they've  
forgotten. You do know the maintainers email is included with every  
package, right? :)

> The categories are a nightmare.

Again, a packager issue, but, hey, wouldn't you know it we've been  
working on that too![2][3][4][5] Right now we're just finalizing the  
translations so Nokia can ship the necessary changes with the  
Application Manager.

> Adding repositories is not trivial, especially if
> you're not familiar with Linux. You pretty much have to know exactly
> what you want and its package name before you open App Manager.

Hardly. First, there's exactly one repository that you need: Extras. 
[6] It's included by default, so all a new user has to do is enable  
it, or tap on a .install file for any of the numerous applications  
available from Extras (http://downloads.maemo.org/ is a good place to  
find them). Having it enabled by default would make a user's life much  
easier, though, you're right. Ironically enough, we're working on that  

> Apt-get and dpkg are a heckuva lot more reliable, but they're hardly
> user-friendly, especially to non-Linux and non-command-line people.

The Application Manager is a lot better than it was 6 months ago, and  
will continue to get better moving forward. Personally, I don't have  
many stability issues with it in Diablo, but if you'd like to point  
out some and file bugs, Marius is really a nice guy and does his best  
to fix them.[8] Non-specific whining really doesn't help anybody.

> The one-click-install feature on the maemo site is nice, but it
> sometimes fails because of dependencies and such.

This isn't the Application Managers fault (well, misdirecting error- 
reporting is if you're talking about where it claims dependencies are  
"missing" when it really means "I wont install them because it might  
break your system")

> ...and basing an argument on what *may* happen in the future is not  
> valid.

Certainly the future can never be certain, but there are a lot of very  
dedicated people who want it to happen, and are investing a lot of  
their time to _make_ it happen. It's the plan for the future, and  
plans are what current decisions are based on.

Unless you prefer to doing everything spur of the moment with no  
thought to the future? THAT might invalidate future plans as an  
argument. . . .

I'll ask for anybody interested in replying to read the follows pages  
before you do, you'll find that a lot of your questions will be  
answered in them and a lot of your arguments invalidated. :)


Ryan Abel
Maemo Community Council chair

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