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Re: Need advice pertaining to GSoC proposal

On Thu, 2009-04-02 at 03:09 +0530, Debayan Banerjee wrote:
> Dear List,
> I need some feedback on the feasibility of the proposal below from this list.
> To install a package x in Fedora one has to add the
> repository via the command line (or gui) and then type "yum install x"
> to get the package installed.

 Indeed, there are two steps:

1) I trust XYZ, to get packages from.
2) I install package Foo from XYZ.

...it's possible these steps could be done within a single command or
made more userfriendly in many ways, but you still need two steps.

> In the one-click-install feature we have an xml file per-package which
> contains information in it such as package name,version,repository
> links (for installing further dependencies)

 We already have a format for repository metadata, why do you want to
use a different one?

> , GPG key etc. One may
> upload these xml files on the web and an user may click on these xml
> files in a browser. Once downloaded the a parser parses the contents
> of the file and automatically adds the requisite repositories and
> downloads requisite packages for dependency preservation.

 It can't do this "automatically", it still needs the user to sign off
on the two distinct steps above.

> Explanation:
> 1)Add .oci support to package-kit:
> This involves adding C code to Package-Kit. Much of the work has been
> done by Dorian Perkins and is available at
> http://www.cs.ucr.edu/~dperkins/projects/pk-oci/.

 This was rejected previously due to not being secure, what has changed?

> 2)Pluggable Policies:
> The policy of what to allow to install will not be agreed
> across all distributions.
> So instead of discussing a policy that will never get unanimous
> approval the install policy pluggable, and allowing the distribution
> to choose the policy may be better.
> Some example policies would be

> * Only allow packages in the distribution itself
> * Only allow packages that are whitelisted or in whitelisted repository
> * Allow installation of anything that is not on a blacklist
> * Allow installation of anything"

 We already have this, it's called GPG key management.

> 3) Add voting system to Package Manager:
> The word trust has to mean something that the end user understands, as
> opposed to GPG keys. One way of defining trust is by votes. It is my
> proposal that we enable a voting system at the package manager end so
> that every time a repository is added and a package installed for the
> first time users are asked for a "Recommend" vs "Do not recommend"
> vote. Conversely, every time a user disables/removes a repository he
> is asked whether he votes "Do not recommend". These votes go to a
> centrallised server
> I was advised on the Fedora list by Patrick Barnes to use the voting
> approach. I thought it made sense since it will keep evil people
> (repositories) away
> the same way wikipedia protects itself from evil people.
> Also there may be admins, like me, who shall ban a particular
> repository from the listings if it is found to be a malicious
> repository. If a repo is evil, there *will* be several "do not
> recommend" votes to it too which will attract attention.

 Why do you think votes (esp. those by users) and trust are related? I
guess it's not a _terrible_ hint, but it's surely not a good one either.
 We don't do Fedora package reviews by having everyone vote, so I don't
see why we'd want to do the same thing for (expandable) sets of

> 4) A server that receives votes and maintains a listing of
> repositories in sorted order:
> We could make modifications to <https://admin.fedoraproject.org/pkgdb>
> so that it provides one-click-install links to all packages thus.
> Similar efforts are at:
> [1] http://www.apturl.net/
> [2] http://packages.opensuse-community.org/
> [3] http://www.allmyapps.com/
> I can set up a prototype server which
> accepts these votes and displays reposiories/packages accordingly.
> Once I have successfully built all the things I have mentioned, I dont
> mind buying hosting space to host it as a proof of concept.

 Given that Fedora, as a distro., don't ship rpmfusion-free-release (for
both legal and non-legal reasons) ... why do you think they will
maintain this list?

James Antill <james fedoraproject org>

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