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Re: Announcing metalink for Knoppix 7.0.5

Hello Bhavesh,

On Tue, Jun 04, 2013 at 12:40:06PM -0400, Bhavesh Patel wrote:
> Lots of linux distros and other popular packages have created metalinks for the distribution of their software in a way that failover and redundancy and being able to download files from multiple mirros is supported via simple xml file.
> You can take a look at all the distros and packages using metalink at this website http://metalinker.org/
> Looking at the popularity of the metalinks , IETF has approved and it is now a standard.
> So I took the opportunity of converting all the mirror information(http/ftp) of Knoppix for version 7.0.5 and have created metalinks for it in both ver3 (extension .metalink) and version 4(approved by IETF as a standard) with file name extension as meta4.
> With these metafiles you are limited to only your download bandwidth of your ISP as you can parallely download from multiple mirrors and even if some fails it moves to the other in the list.
> Pls be sure to read the documenation of your download manager to ensure they support Metalinks and also pls be sure to understand the metalinks which I have published have all the flavours of ISO images(English DVD/CD,German CD/DVD) so pls pay attention when you download and only select the flavor you are interested in.
> I have tested that each and every mirror in my metalink file is working at this time.There were lot of dead links on the original mirror webpage on Knoppix site.

I must admit that I have not heared of metalinks up to now.

But first, thanks for your work! Maintaining a list of mirrors becomes
indeed difficult nowadays where web space providers seek to gain
popularity by offering a mirror location for free, then after a year
they abandon or neglect it, it's never updated and finally removed
without me even noticing, so I have a lot of dead links in the mirror
list. I would have to spend a whole day every now and then, updating the
mirrors table and checking all mirrors, which I simply don't have enough
time to do regularly.

But here is the catch:

1. How does metalink save me the work of adding and removing mirrors?
Someone has to do this, and react if new mirrors are offered or removed.
I'm not through with the metalink documentation yet, so maybe you have a
quick solution for this that has a nice form, rather than me editing
huge HTML tables each and every time.

2. Will I still be able to put my "Accept tht GPL and please don't sue
me if you break your computer" license first before the actual download link appears?

3. Can people without special plugins or browsers still access the
mirror list, or a specific mirror? Is it possible without Javascript, or
from the text console? Elinks? Accessibility? Would I still have to
maintain the HTML table for people without metalink support in their
download software?

> Pls let me know if there are any bugs etc.Also let me know if you find this useful then I can probably make metalinks to speed up the downloads and spread the load across various mirrors with the upcoming Knoppix 7.1.0 release as well.

(Well, looks like the new version will rather be a 7.2, many bugfixes
and new features compared to the CeBIT edition.)

Is there a PHP sample code that will turn the metalink file into a HTML
table again? This way, I could at least save the work of updating the
mirror page manually.

> Pls note since the Torrent for Knoppix has multiple files in it we cannot add it as a metafile.Currently if you want parallel downloads with HTTP/FTP/BIttorrent simultaneously then the torrent should only have one file which is the ISO file which is on the http/ftp sites.

Since there are regularly different derivates of the same version of
Knoppix (DVD+CD * English+German * ADRIANE+Standard), offering a single
ISO file is difficult. Plus, I have to provide signed checksums as well,
so users can always verify checksums for files they downloaded earlier,
even when the old version was already superseded by a new one.

> For detailed instructions(including actual metalink files) and an example using aria2 , please look at my blog post http://bhavesh.freeshell.org/blog/worklog/456321123.html

For me as a beginner user of metalink, it would not be transparent that
opening the .metalink file with firefox just results in the same
question being asked again and again. Apparently, a plugin is needed.


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