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volatile <-> get hot new stuff


the idea to honour the need for up-to-date packages is really good. But what 
happens on a distro level, also happens on a desktop level somehow. Both KDE 
and GNOME already have frameworks in place to keep user-centric data current. 
Such data could be wallpapers, widget styles/themes, game levels, vocabulary 
files, and office suite templates. Once characteristics is that every now and 
then, another user improves upon the work already available and wants to 
share it with other users again.

To find a common protocol and service description, a new project has been 
founded recently:

(to be moved to ghns.freedesktop.org in some time)

Technically, the single most important property of packages is to be able to 
load data both from the system directory and from $HOME/.xxx, which most 
packages already do. GHNS supports digital signatures, i18n contributions and 
user ratings.

There are some areas where work will definitely still have to be done. One 
such area is that it should work well together with (parallel) installations 
on a system level. Imagine a user downloading the latest astronomy update 
package for KStars, while the next upstream release (and subsequently distro 
package) will install it as well, which in turn the user won't notice. Just a 
random example of a current weakness.

All people interested in the standardisation process, giving ideas or 
implementing some software (frontend/backend) for it, please join the mailing 

The concepts of volatile and ghns are not the same, but there are common 
elements, and I think it does make sense to learn from each other, and in the 
end the user will profit from it, and the distros will have less work keeping 
the user happy.


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