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Re: Proposal for additional metadata in Debian archives (DEP-11)

2011/10/31 Charles Plessy <plessy@debian.org>:
> Le Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 05:49:12PM +0200, Matthias Klumpp a écrit :
>> For us, it is necessary that APT can process this data (will be
>> implemented if DEP-11 can make it) and that parts of it can be written
>> into a Xapian-DB for fast searching. - Both would work perfectly well
>> with any format.
>> It would be very nice, if ftpmasters could tell if they would accept a
>> new format in the archive or if we should stay with  RFC822 which is
>> used for nearly everything else already.
> Dear Matthias,
Hi! :)

> I am still not sure to understand how the data will be used.  Is it only to be
> used via Internet ?
No, it is used by applications running on Debian. The application
which will use this data the most is the Software-Center and related
apps for sure, but with the components-metadata, every application
needing to find extra-components (like plugins) in the archive using a
distro-agnostic way will use this data.
The data will be accessible via APT and PackageKit. (and via aptd too, I guess)

> In that case perhaps it is not needed to distribute it via
> the Debian archive.  What is the Debian-specific data ?  If it is the
> association between a FreeDesktop menu “.desktop” file and a package name,
> there is already a file in the Debian archive that provides this.
Not only. It also exposes some content-elements of the .desktop-file
to a new file which is easily-searchable. And it will provide extra
informations about which package contains which python module, shared
lib etc. This is basically a metadata <-> deb-package matching. It is
good to have this in a extra file, because the Contents.tar.gz does
not provide all of this information and because Contents.tar.gz is a
very, very huge file. We don't want to download, process and cache
this file everytime the archive updates. The Components.gz file would
be much smaller. So, two important reasons for the new approach :)

> Then, a
> repository of the contents of FreeDesktop menu entries would definitely be
> valuable, especially if served semantically, but as it would not contain data
> specific to Debian, wouldn't it be better to develop it with less ties to the
> Debian archive ?  That would be a great contribution from Debian to the the
> rest of the Free software ecosystem.
Others can fetch the data if they want, but the data is specific to
Debian's current archive state... There are some other things you
might be able to do with it, like matching it with Fedora's data and
produce messages like "Fedora has packaged library X version Y which
is not yet present in the archive." or sharing patches more easily
because finding the "related" RPM package to a DEB package in other
distros would be easier and faster.
But that's of course not the main goal of DEP-11, although it's a nice
possibility, IMHO.

Have a nice day too!

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