Version 1.2

: AppStream and application distribution

Where we went and where we are going


AppStream is a Freedesktop specification for describing software components and providing metadata to display applications properly in software centers, such as Muon Discover and GNOME-Software.
This talk explains why we need AppStream metadata and how to make use of it. It also provides a closer look at the current work being done to allow installations of applications independent from the underlying Linux distribution.

AppStream is a metadata-enhancement project for Linux distributions and upstream projects. It allows software projects to provide distributors with machine-readable metadata for the software they develop, which can include long descriptions, links to screenshots and websites associated with the project, etc.
It also allows projects to assign a unique identifier to their software, which allows other software to find it. This means that e.g. an image-viewer can query the distribution package manager to install a missing package needed to support a new image format, without needing to know how the distributor has packaged it.

The first half of the talk will go into detail about why we need AppStream and how it looks like and works.

The second half will give an overview on the current plans to change the way software is distributed on Linux. Traditionally, upstream software is packaged by a downstream Linux distributor and then released as a Linux distribution. Currently, work is going on on solutions to allow projects to distribute their software directly to the end user, as well as for sandboxing the 3rd-party software and isolating it from the rest of the system.
I will give a very brief introduction on the Limba and XdgApp approaches to the software-distribution issue, how the software sandbox is expected to work, and what to take care of to support this new distribution model.


Day: 2015-07-25
Start time: 15:50
Duration: 00:30
Track: Main Talk (30min)




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