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Andrew Pollock: [debian] Toning it down a bit

Planet Debian - Sun, 04/05/2014 - 17:53

I received a complaint about the frequency of my life category posts appearing on Planet Debian. It's the first such complaint I've received, whereas I've received more complimentary feedback, presumably from readers via Planet Debian.

It has made me self-conscious about my posts, though, and I don't want it to affect my blogging, so I've pulled the life category from what I feed to Planet Debian. If you want to keep up with the minutia of my life, and you were doing that via Planet Debian, you'll have to follow my blog directly.

My apologies if anyone was annoyed.

Categories: Elsewhere

Dominique Dumont: Deprecating experience level and preset value in Config::Model

Planet Debian - Sun, 04/05/2014 - 17:05


The next releases of Config::Model will deprecate 2 (mis)features:

  • Experience level: trying to filter out configuration parameter based on arbitrary experience is a bad idea. This may confuse user by hiding parameter without obvious way to show them back. (actually with the options menu on the graphical interface, but that’s too easy to miss)
  • Preset value: this feature provides a way to specify a default value at runtime. This is now provided with the configuration layer.

The behavior of ‘cme check’ will not change. People using ‘cme edit’ with the GUI will see many more configuration parameters.

All the best

Categories: Elsewhere

Jonathan Wiltshire: iptables-persistent overhaul

Planet Debian - Sun, 04/05/2014 - 15:36

A couple of weeks ago I finally got round to doing some major surgery on iptables-persistent.

First of all it is principally now called netfilter-persistent (although the source package hasn’t been renamed) and has a plugin architecture so that it can be extended by other packages. One of those packages is iptables-persistent; others may follow. This opens the way to fixing #662743 and #697088 (patches always welcome).

There’s also a new binary to handle loading/unloading of rules, instead of having all the logic in an init script. I was therefore able to add systemd support as a first-class unit, and I’d appreciate patches for an Upstart service (as I’m largely unfamiliar with it).

Plugins are simply dropped into /usr/share/netfilter-persistent/plugins.d and must follow certain minimum conventions, detailed in netfilter-persistent(1). They can be any executable, so compiled or interpreted binaries are acceptable.

This release finally gets the magic 1.0 identifier. It reaches Jessie today, and is already in Ubuntu Utopic.


iptables-persistent overhaul is a post from: jwiltshire.org.uk | Flattr

Categories: Elsewhere

Dominique Dumont: Another package configuration upgrade project …

Planet Debian - Sun, 04/05/2014 - 15:05


I’ve recently learned that Debian Google Summer of Code 2014 features a project to improve package configuration upgrade based on Elektra library

Despite the fact that this project competes directly with the work done for lcdproc upgrades, I’m very glad that the idea of improving configuration upgrade is getting more attention and I welcome this new project.

All the best

Tagged: configuration, debian, GSoC, upgrade
Categories: Elsewhere

Wouter Verhelst: 36

Planet Debian - Sun, 04/05/2014 - 12:52

Next tuesday is my birthday. Since it's been a while since I last celebrated that, and since it's been a while since I last made some waffles, I decided to combine those two issues and do a waffle party next sunday (may 11th), at my apartment in Mechelen, between 12:00 and 17:00.

If you can read this, and you have reason to assume I'll recognize you on sight, you're hereby invited.

Please do let me know if you're coming though, and around what time, so I can prepare enough dough etc.

See you there?

Categories: Elsewhere

DebConf team: DebConf14 registration back online (Posted by Steve Langasek)

Planet Debian - Sun, 04/05/2014 - 10:10

Thanks to the work of the Alioth admins and the DSA team, single sign-on services are back online. Everyone will again be able to register for DebConf14 according to the steps described on this page.

Categories: Elsewhere

DebConf team: DebConf14 registration temporarily offline for non-developers (Posted by Steve Langasek)

Planet Debian - Sun, 04/05/2014 - 09:50

An issue with the integration between alioth.debian.org and sso.debian.org is currently preventing people other than Debian developers from logging in to the DebConf website for registration.

We apologize for the inconvenience. Administrators are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible; we will update this blog once the problem has been resolved.

In the meantime, Debian developers can continue to register using their debian.org SSO credentials.

Categories: Elsewhere

C.J. Adams-Collier: In case you were curious

Planet Debian - Sun, 04/05/2014 - 09:46

It doesn’t look like the Debian PowerPC bootloader, yaboot can deal with the root filesystem on an lvm on a raid. *sigh* There goes six hours of my life.

Categories: Elsewhere

Francois Marier: What's in a debian/ directory?

Planet Debian - Sun, 04/05/2014 - 04:40

If you're looking to get started at packaging free software for Debian, you should start with the excellent New Maintainers' Guide or the Introduction to Debian Packaging on the Debian wiki.

Once you know the basics, or if you prefer to learn by example, you may be interested in the full walkthrough which follows. We will look at the contents of three simple packages.


This package is a node.js library for the Libravatar service.

Version 2.0.0-3 of that package contains the following files in its debian/ directory:

  • changelog
  • compat
  • control
  • copyright
  • docs
  • node-libravatar.install
  • rules
  • source/format
  • watch
debian/control Source: node-libravatar Priority: extra Maintainer: Francois Marier <francois@debian.org> Build-Depends: debhelper (>= 9) Standards-Version: 3.9.4 Section: web Homepage: https://github.com/fmarier/node-libravatar Vcs-Git: git://git.debian.org/collab-maint/node-libravatar.git Vcs-Browser: http://git.debian.org/?p=collab-maint/node-libravatar.git;a=summary Package: node-libravatar Architecture: all Depends: ${shlibs:Depends}, ${misc:Depends}, nodejs Description: libravatar library for NodeJS This library allows web application authors to make use of the free Libravatar service (https://www.libravatar.org). This service hosts avatar images for users and allows other sites to look them up using email addresses. . node-libravatar includes full support for federated avatar servers.

This is probably the most important file since it contains the bulk of the metadata about this package.

Maintainer is a required field listing the maintainer of that package, which can be a person or a team. It only contains a single value though, any co-maintainers will be listed under the optional Uploaders field.

Build-Depends lists the packages which are needed to build the package (e.g. a compiler), as opposed to those which are needed to install the binary package (e.g. a library it uses).

Standards-Version refers to the version of the Debian Policy that this package complies with.

The Homepage field refers to the upstream homepage, whereas the Vcs-* fields point to the repository where the packaging is stored. If you take a look at the node-libravatar packaging repository you will see that it contains three branches:

  • upstream is the source as it was in the tarball downloaded from upstream.
  • master is the upstream branch along with all of the Debian customizations.
  • pristine-tar is unrelated to the other two branches and is used by the pristine-tar tool to reconstitute the original upstream tarball as needed.

After these fields comes a new section which starts with a Package field. This is the definition of a binary package, not to be confused with the Source field at the top of this file, which refers to the name of the source package. In this particular example, they are both the same and there is only one of each, however this is not always the case, as we'll see later.

Inside that binary package definition, lives the Architecture field which is normally one of these two:

  • all for a binary package that will work on all architectures but only needs to be built once
  • any for a binary package that will work everywhere but that will need to be built separately for each architecture

Finally, the last field worth pointing out is the Depends field which lists all of the runtime dependencies that the binary package has. This is what will be pulled in by apt-get when you apt-get install node-libravatar. The two variables will be substituted later by debhelper.

debian/changelog node-libravatar (2.0.0-3) unstable; urgency=low * debian/watch: poll github directly * Bump Standards-Version up to 3.9.4 -- Francois Marier <francois@debian.org> Mon, 20 May 2013 12:07:49 +1200 node-libravatar (2.0.0-2) unstable; urgency=low * More precise license tag and upstream contact in debian/copyright -- Francois Marier <francois@debian.org> Tue, 29 May 2012 22:51:03 +1200 node-libravatar (2.0.0-1) unstable; urgency=low * New upstream release - new non-backward-compatible API -- Francois Marier <francois@debian.org> Mon, 07 May 2012 14:54:19 +1200 node-libravatar (1.1.1-1) unstable; urgency=low * Initial release (Closes: #661771) -- Francois Marier <francois@debian.org> Fri, 02 Mar 2012 15:29:57 +1300

This may seem at first like a mundane file, but it is very important since it is the canonical source of the package version (2.0.0-3 in this case). This is the only place where you need to bump the package version when uploading a new package to the Debian archive.

The first line also includes the distribution where the package will be uploaded. It is usually one of these values:

  • unstable for the vast majority of uploads
  • stable for uploads that have been approved by the release maintainers and fix serious bugs in the stable version of Debian
  • stable-security for security fixes to the stable version of Debian that cannot wait until the next stable point release and have been approved by the security team

Packages uploaded to unstable will migrate automatically to testing provided that a few conditions are met (e.g. no release-critical bugs were introduced). The length of time before that migration is influenced by the urgency field (low, medium or high) in the changelog entry.

Another thing worth noting is that the first upload normally needs to close an ITP (Intent to Package) bug.

debian/rules #!/usr/bin/make -f # -*- makefile -*- %: dh $@ override_dh_auto_test:

As can be gathered from the first two lines of this file, this is a Makefile. This is what controls how the package is built.

There's not much to see and that's because most of its content is automatically added by debhelper. So let's look at it in action by building the package:

$ git buildpackage -us -uc

and then looking at parts of the build log (../node-libravatar_2.0.0-3_amd64.build):

fakeroot debian/rules clean dh clean dh_testdir dh_auto_clean dh_clean

One of the first things we see is the debian/rules file being run with the clean target. To find out what that does, have a look at the dh_auto_clean which states that it will attempt to delete build residues and run something like make clean using the upstream Makefile.

debian/rules build dh build dh_testdir dh_auto_configure dh_auto_build

Next we see the build target being invoked and looking at dh_auto_configure we see that this will essentially run ./configure and its equivalents.

The dh_auto_build helper script then takes care of running make (or equivalent) on the upstream code.

This should be familiar to anybody who has ever built a piece of free software from scratch and has encountered the usual method for building from source:

./configure make make install

Finally, we get to actually build the .deb:

fakeroot debian/rules binary dh binary dh_testroot dh_prep dh_installdirs dh_auto_install dh_install ... dh_md5sums dh_builddeb dpkg-deb: building package `node-libravatar' in `../node-libravatar_2.0.0-3_all.deb'.

Here we see a number of helpers, including dh_auto_install which takes care of running make install.

Going back to the debian/rules, we notice that there is manually defined target at the bottom of the file:


which essentially disables dh_auto_test by replacing it with an empty set of commands.

The reason for this becomes clear when we take a look at the test target of the upstream Makefile and the dependencies it has: tap, a node.js library that is not yet available in Debian.

In other words, we can't run the test suite on the build machines so we need to disable it here.

debian/compat 9

This file simply specifies the version of debhelper that is required by the various helpers used in debian/rules. Version 9 is the latest at the moment.

debian/copyright Format: http://www.debian.org/doc/packaging-manuals/copyright-format/1.0/ Upstream-Name: node-libravatar Upstream-Contact: Francois Marier <francois@libravatar.org> Source: https://github.com/fmarier/node-libravatar Files: * Copyright: 2011 Francois Marier <francois@libravatar.org> License: Expat Files: debian/* Copyright: 2012 Francois Marier <francois@debian.org> License: Expat License: Expat Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions: . The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software. . THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

This machine-readable file lists all of the different licenses encountered in this package.

It requires that the maintainer audits the upstream code for any copyright statements that might be present in addition to the license of the package as a whole.

debian/docs README.md

This file contains a list of upstream files that will be copied into the /usr/share/doc/node-libravatar/ directory by dh_installdocs.

debian/node-libravatar.install lib/* usr/lib/nodejs/

The install file is used by dh_install to supplement the work done by dh_auto_install which, as we have seen earlier, essentially just runs make install on the upstream Makefile.

Looking at that upstream Makefile, it becomes clear that the files will need to be installed manually by the Debian package since that Makefile doesn't have an install target.

debian/watch version=3 https://github.com/fmarier/node-libravatar/tags /fmarier/node-libravatar/archive/node-libravatar-([0-9.]+)\.tar\.gz

This is the file that allows Debian tools like the Package Tracking System to automatically detect that a new upstream version is available.

What it does is simply visit the upstream page which contains all of the release tarballs and look for links which have an href matching the above regular expression.

Running uscan --report --verbose will show us all of the tarballs that can be automatically discovered using this watch file:

-- Scanning for watchfiles in . -- Found watchfile in ./debian -- In debian/watch, processing watchfile line: https://github.com/fmarier/node-libravatar/tags /fmarier/node-libravatar/archive/node-libravatar-([0-9.]+)\.tar\.gz -- Found the following matching hrefs: /fmarier/node-libravatar/archive/node-libravatar-2.0.0.tar.gz /fmarier/node-libravatar/archive/node-libravatar-1.1.1.tar.gz /fmarier/node-libravatar/archive/node-libravatar-1.1.0.tar.gz /fmarier/node-libravatar/archive/node-libravatar-1.0.1.tar.gz /fmarier/node-libravatar/archive/node-libravatar-1.0.0.tar.gz Newest version on remote site is 2.0.0, local version is 2.0.0 => Package is up to date -- Scan finished pylibravatar

This second package is the equivalent Python library for the Libravatar service.

Version 1.6-2 of that package contains similar files in its debian/ directory, but let's look at two in particular:

  • control
  • upstream/signing-key.asc
debian/control Source: pylibravatar Section: python Priority: optional Maintainer: Francois Marier <francois@debian.org> Build-Depends: debhelper (>= 9), python-all, python3-all Standards-Version: 3.9.5 Homepage: https://launchpad.net/pyLibravatar ... Package: python-libravatar Architecture: all Depends: ${misc:Depends}, ${python:Depends}, python-dns, python Description: Libravatar module for Python 2 Module to make use of the federated Libravatar.org avatar hosting service from within Python applications. ... Package: python3-libravatar Architecture: all Depends: ${misc:Depends}, ${python3:Depends}, python3-dns, python3 Description: Libravatar module for Python 3 Module to make use of the federated Libravatar.org avatar hosting service from within Python applications. ...

Here is an example of a source package (pylibravatar) which builds two separate binary packages: python-libravatar and python3-libravatar.

This highlights the fact that a given upstream source can be split into several binary packages in the archive when it makes sense. In this case, there is no point in Python 2 applications pulling in the Python 3 files, so the two separate packages make sense.

Another common example is the use of a -doc package to separate the documentation from the rest of a package so that it doesn't need to be installed on production servers for example.

debian/upstream/signing-key.asc -----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK----- Version: GnuPG v1 mQINBEpQYz4BEAC7REQD1za69RUnkt6nRCFhSJmmoeJc+yEiWTKc9GOIMAwJDme1 +CMYgVn4Xzf1VQYwD/lE+mfWgyeMomLQjDM1mxx/LOM2a1WWPOk9+PvQwKfRJy92 ... UxDtZm/4yUmU6KvHvOGiDCMuIiB+MqhqJJ5wf80wXhzu8nmC+fyGt6nvu0ggMle8 sAMgXt/aQUTZE5zNCQ== =RkTO -----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----

This is simply the OpenPGP key that the upstream developer uses to sign release tarballs.

Since PGP signatures are available on the upstream download page, it's possible to instruct uscan to check signatures before downloading tarballs.

The way to do that is to use the pgpsigurlmange option in debian/watch:

version=3 opts=pgpsigurlmangle=s/$/.asc/ https://pypi.python.org/pypi/pyLibravatar https://pypi.python.org/packages/source/p/pyLibravatar/pyLibravatar-(.*)\.tar\.gz

which is simply a regular expression replacement string which takes the tarball URL and converts it to the URL of the matching PGP signature.


The last package we will look at is a file integrity checker. It essentially goes through all of the files in /usr/bin/ and /usr/lib/ and stores a hash of them in its database. When one of these files changes, you get an email.

In particular, we will look at the following files in the debian/ directory of version 2.7.59-18:

  • dirs
  • fcheck.cron.d
  • fcheck.postrm
  • fcheck.postinst
  • patches/
  • README.Debian
  • rules
  • source/format

This directory contains ten patches as well as a file called series which lists the patches that should be applied to the upstream source and in which order. Should you need to temporarily disable a patch, simply remove it from this file and it will no longer be applied at build time.

Let's have a look at patches/04_cfg_sha256.patch:

Description: Switch to sha256 hash algorithm Forwarded: not needed Author: Francois Marier <francois@debian.org> Last-Update: 2009-03-15 --- a/fcheck.cfg +++ b/fcheck.cfg @@ -149,8 +149,7 @@ TimeZone = EST5EDT #$Signature = /usr/bin/sum #$Signature = /usr/bin/cksum #$Signature = /usr/bin/md5sum -$Signature = /bin/cksum - +$Signature = /usr/bin/sha256sum # Include an optional configuration file.

This is a very simple patch which changes the default configuration of fcheck to promote the use of a stronger hash function. At the top of the file is a bunch of metadata in the DEP-3 format.

Why does this package contain so many customizations to the upstream code when Debian's policy is to push fixes upstream and work towards reduce the delta between upstream and Debian's code? The answer can be found in debian/control:

Homepage: http://web.archive.org/web/20050415074059/www.geocities.com/fcheck2000/

This package no longer has an upstream maintainer and its original source is gone. In other words, the Debian package is where all of the new bug fixes get done.

debian/source/format 3.0 (quilt)

This file contains what is called the source package format. What it basically says is that the patches found in debian/patches/ will be applied to the upstream source using the quilt tool at build time.

debian/fcheck.postrm #!/bin/sh # postrm script for fcheck # # see: dh_installdeb(1) set -e # summary of how this script can be called: # * <postrm> `remove' # * <postrm> `purge' # * <old-postrm> `upgrade' <new-version> # * <new-postrm> `failed-upgrade' <old-version> # * <new-postrm> `abort-install' # * <new-postrm> `abort-install' <old-version> # * <new-postrm> `abort-upgrade' <old-version> # * <disappearer's-postrm> `disappear' <overwriter> # <overwriter-version> # for details, see http://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ or # the debian-policy package case "$1" in remove|upgrade|failed-upgrade|abort-install|abort-upgrade|disappear) ;; purge) if [ -e /var/lib/fcheck/fcheck.dbf ]; then echo "Purging old database file ..." rm -f /var/lib/fcheck/fcheck.dbf fi rm -rf /var/lib/fcheck rm -rf /var/log/fcheck rm -rf /etc/fcheck ;; *) echo "postrm called with unknown argument \`$1'" >&2 exit 1 ;; esac # dh_installdeb will replace this with shell code automatically # generated by other debhelper scripts. #DEBHELPER# exit 0

This script is one of the many possible maintainer scripts that a package can provide if needed.

This particular one, as the name suggests, will be run after the package is removed (apt-get remove fcheck) or purged (apt-get remove --purge fcheck). Looking at the case statement above, it doesn't do anything extra in the remove case, but it deletes a few files and directories when called with the purge argument.


This optional README file contains Debian-specific instructions that might be useful to users. It supplements the upstream README which is often more generic and cannot assume a particular system configuration.

debian/rules #!/usr/bin/make -f # -*- makefile -*- # Sample debian/rules that uses debhelper. # This file was originally written by Joey Hess and Craig Small. # As a special exception, when this file is copied by dh-make into a # dh-make output file, you may use that output file without restriction. # This special exception was added by Craig Small in version 0.37 of dh-make. # Uncomment this to turn on verbose mode. #export DH_VERBOSE=1 build-arch: build-indep: build: build-stamp build-stamp: dh_testdir pod2man --section=8 $(CURDIR)/debian/fcheck.pod > $(CURDIR)/fcheck.8 touch build-stamp clean: dh_testdir dh_testroot rm -f build-stamp rm -f $(CURDIR)/fcheck.8 dh_clean install: build dh_testdir dh_testroot dh_prep dh_installdirs cp $(CURDIR)/fcheck $(CURDIR)/debian/fcheck/usr/sbin/fcheck cp $(CURDIR)/fcheck.cfg $(CURDIR)/debian/fcheck/etc/fcheck/fcheck.cfg # Build architecture-independent files here. binary-arch: build install # Build architecture-independent files here. binary-indep: build install dh_testdir dh_testroot dh_installdocs dh_installcron dh_installman fcheck.8 dh_installchangelogs dh_installexamples dh_installlogcheck dh_link dh_strip dh_compress dh_fixperms dh_installdeb dh_shlibdeps dh_gencontrol dh_md5sums dh_builddeb binary: binary-indep binary-arch .PHONY: build clean binary-indep binary-arch binary install

This is an example of a old-style debian/rules file which you still encounter in packages which haven't yet upgraded to the latest version of debhelper 9, as can be shown by the contents of debian/compat:


It does essentially the same thing that what we've seen in the build log, but in a more verbose way.

debian/dirs usr/sbin etc/fcheck

This file contains a list of directories that dh_installdirs will create in the build directory.

The reason why these directories need to be created is that files are copied into these directories in the install target of the debian/rules file.

Note that this is different from directories which are created at the time of installation of the package. In that case, the directory (e.g. /var/log/fcheck/) must be created in the postinst script and removed in the postrm script.

debian/fcheck.cron.d # # Regular cron job for the fcheck package # 30 */2 * * * root test -x /usr/sbin/fcheck && if ! nice ionice -c3 /usr/sbin/fcheck -asxrf /etc/fcheck/fcheck.cfg >/var/run/fcheck.out 2>&1; then mailx -s "ALERT: [fcheck] `hostname --fqdn`" root </var/run/fcheck.out ; /usr/sbin/fcheck -cadsxlf /etc/fcheck/fcheck.cfg ; fi ; rm -f /var/run/fcheck.out

This file is the cronjob which drives the checks performed by this package. It will be copied to /etc/cron.d/fcheck by dh_installcron.

Categories: Elsewhere

Paul Tagliamonte: Ohanayou? Ohanami!

Planet Debian - Sun, 04/05/2014 - 00:51

Ohanayou? Ohanami!

Categories: Elsewhere

Matthias Klumpp: Translated AppStream metadata for KDE!

Planet Debian - Sat, 03/05/2014 - 16:34

I took some time, but now it finally is done: KDE has translations for AppStream upstream metadata!

AppStream is a Freedesktop project to extend metadata about the software projects which is available in distributions, especially regarding applications. Distributions compile a metadata file from data collected from packages, .desktop files and possibly other information sources, and create an AppStream XML file from it, which is then – directly or via a Xapian cache – read by software-center-like applications such as GNOME-Software or KDEs Apper.

Since the metadata available from current sources is not standardized and rather poor, upstream projects can ship small XML files, AppStream upstream metadata or AppData in short. These files contain additional information about a project, such as a long description and links to screenshots. They also provide hints about public interfaces a software provides, for example binaries and libraries, making it possible for distributors to give users exactly the right package name in case they are missing a software component.

So, in order to represent graphical KDE applications like they deserve it in the new software centers making use of AppStream, we need to ship AppData files, with long descriptions, screenshots and a few URLs.

But how can you create these metadata files? In case you want your graphical KDE app to ship an AppData file, there is now a help page on the Techbase Wiki which provides all information needed to get started!

For non-visual stuff or software which just wants to publish it’s provided interfaces with AppStream metadata, there is a dedicated page for that as well. Shipping metadata for non-GUI apps will help programmers to satisfy depedencies in order to compile new software, enhance bash-completion for missing binaries and provides some other neat stuff (take a look at this blogpost to get a taste of it).

And if you want to read a FAQ about the metadata stuff and get the bigger picture, just go to the Techbase Wiki page about AppStream metadata as well.

The pages are not 100% final, so if you have questions, please write me a mail and I’ll update the pages, or simply correct/refine it by yourself (it’s a wiki afterall).

And now to the best thing: As soon as you ship an AppStream upstream metadata file (*.appdata.xml* for apps or *.metainfo.xml* for other stuff), the KDE l10n-script (Scripty!) will automatically start translating it, just like we already do with .desktop files. No further actions are necessary.

I already have a large amount of metadata files here, partially auto-generated, which show that we have about 160+ applications in KDE which could get an AppData file, not counting any frameworks or other non-GUI stuff yet. Since that is a bit much to submit via Reviewboard (which I originally planned to do), I hope I can commit the changes directly to the respective repositories, where the maintainers can take a look at it and adjust it to their liking. If that idea does not receive approval, I will just publish a set of data at some place for the KDE app maintainers to take as a reference (the auto-generated stuff needs some fixup to be commit-ready (which I’d do in case I can just commit changes)). Either way, it is safe now to write and ship AppData files in KDE projects!

In order to get your stuff translated, it is necessary that you follow the AppStream 0.6 metadata specification, and not one of ther older revisions. You can easily detect 0.6 metadata by the <component> root node, instead of <application>, or by it having a metadata_license tag. We don’t support the older versions simply because it’s not necessary, as there were only two KDE projects shipping AppData before, which are now using 0.6 data as well. Since 0.6, the metadata XML format is guaranteed to be stable, and the only reason which could make me change it in an incompatible way is to prevent something as bad as the end of the world from happening (== won’t happen ). You can find the full specification (upstream and distro data) here.

All parsers are able to handle 0.6 data now, and the existing tools are almost all migrated already (might take a few months to hit the distributions though).

So, happy metadata-writing!

Thanks to all people who helped with making this happen, and especially Burkhard Lück and Albert Astals Cid for their patch-review and help with integrating the necessary changes into the KDE l10n-script.

Categories: Elsewhere


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