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Visible open source app community, supported by Jolla

asked 2014-01-11 14:49:50 +0300

tbr gravatar image

updated 2014-01-11 15:34:19 +0300

Jolla should endorse and support an open source app community for Sailfish apps. This would go well together with Sailfish being an (mostly) open source platform.

There is already a Sailfish Target on Mer OBS and even a (mostly ignored) community project. This should be leveraged by Jolla to foster the growth of an open source app community. This can serve both as an incubator and as a safe haven for apps. Incubator before they fit harbour, safe haven for those who are denied to lay anchor in harbour due to API usage and dependencies. OBS and BOSS as the backends would guarantee that the apps are open source and built against latest SailfishOS version and automated QA processes ensure a good base level and keep maintenance work low.

You could see it as the revival of the apps garage concept from maemo times, or the Apps-for-MeeGo community project that worked well for e.g. the N9 leveraging MeeGo community OBS.

It could also integrate with the open repos concept to add a reliable backbone to it and benefit from their work on a client app. Or the apps-for-meego client.

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OpenRepos concept is like Apps-for-Meego. With client application Warehouse.

Basil ( 2014-01-11 15:51:58 +0300 )edit

@Basil it differs in a crucial point, open repos puts the burden of producing a clean RPM and publishing the source code on the submitter, while AfM uses OBS as the backend. This has deep implications, for starters no automatic rebuilding against new platform updates. Garage acts similarly.

tbr ( 2014-01-11 17:39:22 +0300 )edit

@tbr have multiple apps at garage, and one at appsformeego, none was rebuilded on ssu updates. manually after re-submitting(triggering source change or 'rebuild') - it does. The only diff is that source code for package is avaiable at build time.

Basil ( 2014-01-11 17:44:31 +0300 )edit

@Basil that is not an argument, the fact that it was not done properly there does not mean, that it can not be done properly in e.g. Chum or elsewhere.

tbr ( 2014-01-11 18:08:37 +0300 )edit

Using the SDK and publish the rpm on Openrepos works fine for me. An OBS backend would work for opensource libs/apps but I don't consider it a must have feature. Either way works fine for me. Maybe it would make more sense to have an OBS repo only with mainstream libs/plugins not supplied by Jolla? For apps I think Openrepos with Warehouse work fine as it is, no need for OBS here.

xerxes2 ( 2014-01-12 00:59:56 +0300 )edit

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answered 2014-02-04 09:42:52 +0300

tbr gravatar image

During FOSDEM we had a Sailfish/Jolla Community Round-Table. This topic was brought up and seemed Sailors committed to address this with pushing forward towards a clean open source repository with community QA and easy access after enabling developer mode.

This would provide something like Maemo Extras and would be community QA'd to ensure the apps don't pose major problems when installed. On the other hand it would provide an easy middle ground for apps that don't fit into harbour for various reasons (API calls, dependencies, etc.).

It will be backed by an OBS project on Mer community OBS, which has Sailfish targets. OBS has come a very long way since we've seen it first. I've personally had several apps build out of the box by just _clicking_:

  • create package
  • source provision through tar_git

If the app builds on a clean SDK, then it's highly likely to build out of the box also on OBS.

You may now say "what about openrepos?". They have chosen to be a site for one-click RPM hosting repositories with no QA. Despite their best efforts this approach has led to significant problems. Also it does binary only uploads and thus non-free/closed applications and no traceable chain from source to binary. That said, if the openrepos client (warehouse) passes community QA it will for sure be included in the community repository. Thus allowing users to install it easily, if they so wish. We're not hostile towards it, it just doesn't offer the level of trust to be a viable avenue for a default community repository.

This is a PERSONAL summary of MY recollection of the FOSDEM discussion on this topic. I hope that Jolla will now finally back this up and we will see Sailors working towards this. I still find it a shame that I as a community person have to write public answers for them and hope that they will at least confirm that they are putting themselves behind this.

Please join the discussion on the Sailfish devel mailing list! Discussion kick-off posting.

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I agree I trust OBS/merproject more than openrepos.net...

Ofcourse openrepos.net is a good initative. But I still think openrepos is to "wide open" that in the long run may leads to messy conflicts and dependies nightmare...

mike7b4 ( 2014-02-04 23:45:09 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-01-12 20:34:48 +0300

qwazix gravatar image

updated 2014-01-12 20:35:20 +0300

Dependencies, dependencies, dependencies!

This is the linux/FLOSS way, that everybody builds upon the work of others, a way that harmattan and apps-for-meego ignored. How many packages in a modern linux distro do not depend on packages not pre-installed? It is a major blocker, or if you see it the other way around, incentive for a developer to sit down and work. If you can write 20 lines of clever glue code to create something awesome you'll do it. If you have to reimplement the functionality of 4 different programs that are already there, it's boring.

In my opinion the desktop linux world, and by extension maemo had something there that if exploited, it can work very much for the benefit of a new player. It can provide the missing things that would take others (e.g. blackberry) years to do.

So Jolla, I urge you, make Sailfish a developer heaven. Try to allow as many languages as possible, as many libraries as possible. Welcome everyone.

I understand that including more libraries requires more maintenance, but it is a fabulous way to make developing for sailfish #unlike any other platform. Show the world that statically compiling a 4K line library just for parsing JSON is not an "easy and straightforward way to code". The standards are so low that it's easy to shine!

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Asked: 2014-01-11 14:49:50 +0300

Seen: 1,467 times

Last updated: Feb 04 '14