Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

A big AppStream status update

Filed under
Software

What actually was AppStream again? The AppStream Freedesktop Specification describes two XML metadata formats to describe software components: One for software developers to describe their software, and one for distributors and software repositories to describe (possibly curated) collections of software. The format written by upstream projects is called Metainfo and encompasses any data installed in /usr/share/metainfo/, while the distribution format is just called Collection Metadata. A reference implementation of the format and related features written in C/GLib exists as well as Qt bindings for it, so the data can be easily accessed by projects which need it.

The software metadata contains a unique ID for the respective software so it can be identified across software repositories. For example the VLC Mediaplayer is known with the ID org.videolan.vlc in every software repository, no matter whether it’s the package archives of Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu or a Flatpak repository. The metadata also contains translatable names, summaries, descriptions, release information etc. as well as a type for the software. In general, any information about a software component that is in some form relevant to displaying it in software centers is or can be present in AppStream. The newest revisions of the specification also provide a lot of technical data for systems to make the right choices on behalf of the user, e.g. Fwupd uses AppStream data to describe compatible devices for a certain firmware, or the mediatype information in AppStream metadata can be used to install applications for an unknown filetype easier. Information AppStream does not contain is data the software bundling systems are responsible for. So mechanistic data how to build a software component or how exactly to install it is out of scope.

So, now let’s finally get to the new AppStream features since last time I talked about it – which was almost two years ago, so quite a lot of stuff has accumulated!

Read more

9 Years After Starting, AppStream 1.0 Is Coming For Cross-Dist.

  • 9 Years After Starting, AppStream 1.0 Is Coming For Cross-Distribution Package Metadata

    AppStream was started in 2011 as a means of drawing up cross-distribution (XML-based) standards for describing software components/packages metadata and for repositories to describe software collections. Now nearly a decade later, AppStream 1.0 should be coming in the next few months.

    Debian developer Matthias Klumpp who has been extensively involved in AppStream and other Linux packaging/installation efforts over the years has provided an update on the AppStream efforts.

    Among the AppStream additions in recent times has been a run-time component type added (such as for Flatpak bundles), end-of-life date support for software releases, an agreement section for metainfo files, support for videos in the software screenshots area, and various other additions.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

Linux-driven i.MX8M Nano module is smallest yet

F&S announced a 40 x 35mm “PicoCore MX8MN” module that runs Linux on a single- or quad-core, 1.5GHz i.MX8M Nano with up to 8GB RAM, 32GB eMMC, and optional WiFi/Bluetooth and -40 to 85°C support. At Embedded World later this month, F&S Elektronik Systeme will show a working demo of a tiny compute module due in Q2 that runs a custom Linux stack on NXP’s i.MX8M Nano. At 40 x 35mm, the PicoCore MX8MN is the smallest of the Nano-based modules we’ve seen, which include IWave’s 67.6 x 37mm iW-RainboW-G34M-SM SODIMM module and a pair of 82 x 50mm SMARC modules: Congatec’s Conga-SMX8-Nano and Avnet/MSC’s MSC SM2S-IMX8MINI. Read more

Login and unlock in GNOME Shell 3.36

The upcoming GNOME 3.36 release includes a major update to the system login and unlock experience. The new design has been anticipated for a long time, and we’re excited that it has finally arrived! GNOME’s existing login and unlock design has been largely unaltered since it was first introduced in GNOME 3.6, back in September 2012. That’s seven and a half years ago! It’s therefore no surprise that we’ve wanted to update the design for some time. The initial round of design work for the new lock screen took place in 2017, at the GNOME UX hackfest in London. There, the GNOME design team, along with GNOME Shell developers, reviewed the goals and requirements, as well as the issues with the existing design, including the main areas of feedback that we’ve had. Read more

Evince chosen as the Librem 5 Document Viewer

The default Librem 5 applications define the out of the box experience. Our team has been hard at work adding essential apps that people expect from a smartphone. The latest is the popular FOSS document viewer Evince which we adapted using our powerful convergence library libhandy. We have put a lot of design and development into the idea of convergence – the ability to run applications on desktop and mobile without maintaining separate code basess or many additional views. libhandy has already been successfully used to adpat or build all the current Librem 5 apps including GNOME Settings, Epiphany, Calls, Chats and more. What makes libhandy so powerful for designers and developers is its simplicity. Just swap out your widget inheritance to use libhandy and add breakpoint logic. Read more