APT Netbooks UI

UME needs the functions provided by:

  • Update Manager
  • Language Selector
  • gdebi

Not so important:

  • gnome-app-install
  • synaptic

Tollef packaged hildon C++ bindings.

update-manager port

Emmet Hikory has ported update-manager to Hildon.

  • removing Synaptic dependencies
  • removing extra "Close" buttons
  • Two main functions
    • dist-upgrade
    • security updates

gksu doesn't work with on-screen keyboard, but this is fixable with gconf

Challenges when mobilizing apps

  • nice downscaling on smaller screens, especially for lists, popups
  • nice upscaling as apps are often maximised (dialogs might be ugly because of large blank areas for example)
  • finger friendly buttons/widgets
    • this is mostly down to the Gtk theme rather than the application

Implementation notes

  • Michael explained that most changes we need to do should be done in the Glade files; the Glade file should be copied into a mobile specific file which would be maintained in the upstream repository along with the same file
  • Is the code split in "MVC" layers, with the UI clearly separated in APT apps? Michael says most are split, except perhaps for synaptic which is older

Synaptic / gnome-app-install

  • Synaptic would had some little dependencies, but not many of them
  • To install packages, gnome-app-install is an easier solution than synaptic which is too rich for mobile UIs
  • We should make the UI of synaptic less technical and easier in general, but that might be too hard to solve for mobile
  • PackageKit has a nice UI, but assumes non-interactive package installation which doesn't fit the dpkg/apt model to install packages

  • The Maemo package manager is easier to use and has nice features such as limiting the packages which are displayed or blacklisting repositories, or displaying popups before destroying your system with untrusted packages
    • We should package/install this application installer
  • If we want to present applications to the end-users, we should use gnome-app-install, but if we want to present packages we need a package manager
  • Concerning additional APT repositories, we should probably avoid this as Nokia people hinted that this lead to a QA nightmare
  • Another idea is to allow users to search for applications on a dedicated website, and clicking on the app would start and install
    • Would allow the vendor to specify which apps are shown
    • Would only allow the user to install apps within the default sources
  • We need to define use cases for the actual usage of APT/dpkg
  • We could also have "application updates" rather than "package updates", displaying what applications will be updated in update-manager instead of a package listing
  • OS2008 allows to backup/restore data before system upgrades and we do need to upgrade the base OS squashfs image; Michael hinted that we could use the update-manager logic to do more stuff on dist-upgrades than just APT stuff
  • Discussion on full system upgrades and replacement of the squashfs partition in a safe way
    • Proposal to boot on a special very small "update" partition from where you can run upgrader software with a fb frontend

Going forward

  • No particular plans for GSoC or such types of projects; people from mobile should simply spend time addressing the top issues with the UI of the core APT apps we care about

MobileAndEmbedded/APT-Netbooks-UI (last edited 2008-08-06 16:26:11 by localhost)