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Thread: AppStream: What Problem Does It Solve?

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  1. #1

    Question AppStream: What Problem Does It Solve?

    Hello.

    So I read this announcement which is all glee about something called AppStream. I have checked their homepage and I have also perused their documentation. However, none of that has provided a clear, concise answer to my question:

    What problem does AppStream solve?

    Would I be mistaken in saying it appears to be trying to transpose the "market" metaphor from Android and Apple OS (whatever it's called) products into the Linux arena?

    I understand that other distros may have less than optimal package managers, but I do not believe that to be the case with Yast2, so in particular:

    What problem does AppStream solve for OpenSUSE users?

    Knowledgeable answers would be most welcome. Those from anyone involved with this are particularly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: AppStream: What Problem Does It Solve?

    This question is probably best asked in the Chit-Chat forum.
    "The time is always right to do what's right." Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    openSUSE 15.3 5.3.18-59.40-default x86_64

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    Default Re: AppStream: What Problem Does It Solve?

    On 2015-04-19 00:36, kerijan2003 wrote:
    >
    > This question is probably best asked in the Chit-Chat forum.


    Absolutely...

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.

    (from 13.1 x86_64 "Bottle" (Minas Tirith))

  4. #4

    Default Re: AppStream: What Problem Does It Solve?

    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    On 2015-04-19 00:36, kerijan2003 wrote:
    >
    > This question is probably best asked in the Chit-Chat forum.


    Absolutely...
    There are way too many forums already. It just makes it difficult to know where to head off to should one be looking for some information, or even try to help out by answering a few help requests. Not to mention all the arguments started about whether something is in the right forum or not.

  5. #5

    Default Re: AppStream: What Problem Does It Solve?

    Thanks for the answers.

    I confess that I'm still unclear on what this is.

    From the explanations given, I am led to understand that it is just a convention for some extra metadata about packages, which applications may choose to consume (or not)?

  6. #6

    Default Re: AppStream: What Problem Does It Solve?

    Quote Originally Posted by licehunter View Post
    From the explanations given, I am led to understand that it is just a convention for some extra metadata about packages, which applications may choose to consume (or not)?
    Basically yes, as I understand it.
    And it is distribution/package-management-system agnostic...
    Last edited by wolfi323; 13-May-2015 at 03:51.

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    Default Re: AppStream: What Problem Does It Solve?

    Quote Originally Posted by licehunter View Post
    Thanks for the answers.

    I confess that I'm still unclear on what this is.

    From the explanations given, I am led to understand that it is just a convention for some extra metadata about packages, which applications may choose to consume (or not)?
    From what I researched before,
    Most basicly it's app version control, it tracks versions of an app's files (if used to support an app). This is one of the most nettlesome and oftentimes costly aspects of code writing... If you intend to maintain the app, how do you track the status/version of the app or its parts and determine what is to be updated? There are several concepts/approaches on how to do this, and it can get more complicated if several updates are skipped, are you really going to require every intermediate (and obsolesced) update to be installed as well?

    So, from a code developer's perspective, it solves an important problem relating to code maintenance.

    But, one of the implementations I listed has little to do with code maintenance. That solution actually was using appstream to manage the versions of its distributed database content which is an interesting and innovative way to apply a core functionality in a very different scenario.

    So, it is a convention (commonly accepted format and methods) but a lot more.
    That's why in my description I elevated appstream to a type of platform.

    TSU

  8. #8

    Default Re: AppStream: What Problem Does It Solve?

    Quote Originally Posted by tsu2 View Post
    From what I researched before,
    Most basicly it's app version control, it tracks versions of an app's files (if used to support an app). This is one of the most nettlesome and oftentimes costly aspects of code writing...
    ???
    I think you are talking about something completely different...

    The official AppStream specification and documentation (http://www.freedesktop.org/software/appstream/docs/) doesn't mention anything about code-writing or version tracking at all.

    Here's the "Abstract", btw:
    AppStream is a cross-distro effort for enhancing the way we interact with the software repositories provided by the distribution by standardizing sets of additional metadata.

    AppStream provides the foundation to build software-center applications. It additionally provides specifications for things like an unified software metadata database, screenshot services and various other things needed to create user-friendly application-centers for (Linux) distributions.
    Last edited by wolfi323; 13-May-2015 at 08:11.

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    Default Re: AppStream: What Problem Does It Solve?

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfi323 View Post
    ???
    I think you are talking about something completely different...

    The official AppStream specification and documentation (http://www.freedesktop.org/software/appstream/docs/) doesn't mention anything about code-writing or version tracking at all.

    Here's the "Abstract", btw:
    I guess this is an example of seeing the forest for the trees.
    Yes, you can look only at the types of metadata tags that are specified narrowly and might I note that the specifications are intentionally fairly loose, to likely give Users latitude for real world implementation. I don't see anything that would be considered for example "syntax" -- ie. if not constructed in a very strict way, it would be a violation.

    Or, you can look at the "Why?" and "How do we use this stuff?" and "What are people actually doing with it?" of how those metadata tags are used.
    I prefer looking at technology this latter way to understand the <practical use> of the technology rather than only what is in a basic specification.

    TSU

  10. #10

    Default Re: AppStream: What Problem Does It Solve?

    Quote Originally Posted by tsu2 View Post
    I guess this is an example of seeing the forest for the trees.
    Yes, you can look only at the types of metadata tags that are specified narrowly and might I note that the specifications are intentionally fairly loose, to likely give Users latitude for real world implementation. I don't see anything that would be considered for example "syntax" -- ie. if not constructed in a very strict way, it would be a violation.
    And what about this e.g.?
    http://www.freedesktop.org/software/...plication.html

    AppStream is exactly about specifying how to provide the metadata and what metadata to provide. That's the main point.

    Of course you can use a similar syntax (it's just XML anyway) with different tags and metadata for completeley different things, but don't call it AppStream then.

    Or, you can look at the "Why?" and "How do we use this stuff?" and "What are people actually doing with it?" of how those metadata tags are used.
    I prefer looking at technology this latter way to understand the <practical use> of the technology rather than only what is in a basic specification.
    The practical use of this technology (as intended by the designers) is to allow software centers to present more information about applications available for installation to the user.

    But if you wanted to implement such a system you talked of, using AppStream as a base would be plain non-sense IMHO.
    It is intended for something completely different.

    And metadata tags that describe an application on a user level, provide screenshots of it, ... have nothing to do with (and cannot be used for) code-writing and version control, regardless of how you look at it...

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