Application Catalog Crisis

October 8, 2007 at 14:43 | Posted in testing | 12 Comments

We (in maemo team) have received some negative feedback about the quality of the current Application Catalog on maemo.org. Among other things people complained that some install files do not work and they can not install the selected applications at all.

The Application Catalog is pretty much like a wiki page: the community members are inserting the content there, and as the name implied it is only a catalog of links, most of which are pointing to 3rd party pages and repositories outside of the maemo.org domain. As part of the general maemo.org site improvement process we decided to come up with a solution that automatically checks that the links provided in the Catalog are alive and correct.

I created a script that uses the Application Catalog API to walk through all the items in maemo.org/downloads and checks:

  • if the provided .install files are accessible, then fetches the install files and
  • tries to install the application in a fake ARMEL environment.

It is a work in progress, because the sript still miss the functionality to notify the owners of the applications where problems are found and it was not tested very extensively. Since in bora and before install files can contain only one repository some failures might be caused by the fact that the application depends on some other package which is in a different repository, but it is a good start anyhow.The script will be executed regularly and the owners of the problematic applications will be notified. The result of the latest run can be found here:

http://garage.maemo.org/docman/view.php/106/295/inst.html

If you have applications in the Application Catalog, please take a look and check if your application passed the test or not.

  • Green background means everything was working fine
  • White background means that the application was not tested for some reason
  • Red background means that there were some issues

If you have components in multiple repositories we recommend that you move them to one repository or give very good instructions about required repositories. Give us feedback how we should solve this problem?

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12 Comments »

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  1. Thank you for your comment.
    I very much hope the catalog can be made more accurate and user friendly. I am growing increasingly frustrated with programs that will not install(or run proper) and/or require an absurd run around to find ‘other’ rather obscure additional software.(ie. libncurses5(>=5.4-1)etc.
    What gives? I’m faithfully trying to shift over from treo650/palmtx but some of these core functionality issus are really ‘behind the times’ and will outright kill most basic end users interest very fast.

  2. Great to see this happen, apps from the openbossa repository on maemo.org have been inaccessible for ages, hopefully this will let people know they have to fix it.

    I’m not a developer but, believe it or not, non-developers and non-techies do actually use the Maemo.org Download section. Any chance of doing a separate more user-friendly version for non-develoeprs, for example with names of compatible devices instead of names of OS versions?

  3. Could you make a script to upload a .deb in the extra repository ?
    It’s will be very usefull !

  4. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. :)

  5. Can’t get maemo.mapper to instal on my N770.,Error message files missing or not compatible with your software version.

  6. Thanks for continuing to seek practical solutions. I’ve had my own share of issues. But have persevered through most of them, driven by the elegance and functionality of the N800 for my purposes. While not as friendly in many ways as my old Zaurus, it is so much better on the wifi end that it’s been worth the effort. All my programs are now reinstalled and working with the new OS fix. Now if I can just keep from fiddling too much . . . :)

  7. Thank you. Appreciate it.

  8. This is one of the many links that should install a deb file but only opens a text file. I don’t know with whom the fault lies (server/repository), I only know there is a problem..

    https://garage.maemo.org/frs/download.php/2225/gstreamer0.10-indt-playbinmaemo_0.10.2-svn20070924_armel.deb

  9. Khertan: There is a document on maemo.org that describes what do you need to be able to upload .deb packages to the extras repository: http://maemo.org/community/application-catalog/extras_repository.html
    I am not sure what steps could be automated with a script there.

  10. Mel: Try the forum on http://www.internettablettalk.com/forums/
    The author of Maemo Mapper, Gnuite, is a regular visitor there. There is also a thread about your problem: http://www.internettablettalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9584&highlight=mapper+install+770

  11. brandon: Thanks, there is a bugzilla bugreport for this: http://bugs.maemo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1794

  12. mlengyel: I know this document, but i can’t upload it with my n800 as debsign and dput isn’t available on it. And as i have only time to dev onboard (in the train), i don’t have the time at home, i wish if there is more automated way to do this. At this time, i’m studying how to do this in python to be able to send package once created with PyPackager.


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