TODO for the app pages

Ingo Malchow ingomalchow at
Wed Feb 3 20:45:41 UTC 2010

Am Mittwoch, 3. Februar 2010 18:56:47 schrieb Friedrich W. H. Kossebau:
> Hi,
> this is the maintainer/author of writing. Which BTW is up-to-
> date ;) And easily maintained. Though it shares the bus number with kde-
>, I fear.
> Here my 2 cents (and a link to working code, not just words):
> <busy contributor summary>
> Let's start to use central meta/about data files which feed all places
> describing our software, including the apps pages. Both for consistency and
> low-maintenance.
> First build system integration for KAboutData already provided.
> </busy contributor summary>
> Mercredi, le 3 février 2010, à 12:00, Jos Poortvliet a écrit:
> > I don't want to shoot this effort down, but you just can't count on a
> > page only accessible by SVN to stay updated. Any page which has to be
> > updated more than once a year MUST be a wiki or it won't be updated.
> Jos, you being a psychologist (?) I do not wonder you only think of human
> beings. Which I in fact very much appreciate :)
> But for some minutes also consider these automates, driven by control code.
> So, what about updating the content with them, i.e. automatically? And,
> worse, not just less than once a year, but every two hours, if needed?
> Because the content wanted is (almost) all there, up-to-date and often even
> with multiple translations. In the KAboutData stuffing code (which feeds
> the About dialog) and in the manuals. So what about drawing these data
> from there, without any human interaction?
> When developing I had thought about the problem of
> maintenance a lot. Just consider where for the 4.4 release the new version
> for a program has to be updated:
> * About dialog
> * manual
> * homepage
> * software package/stores (e.g. by lsm, spec or similar files)
> * bugzilla
> * UserBase
> * ?
> Or consider a new program, how often have all the metadata/aboutdata to be
> transformed/copied to all the different places? And, as especially
> typically with new programs, have changes to be redistributed to all these
> places?
> See, e.g. Okteta:
> It isn't listed on Because I as Okteta's author have better
> to do then to manually maintain another copy of the About Data. And this
> fate might be the same for many other programs of the KDE SC and KDE
> ExtraGear. So I cannot really consider _the_ database for
> software from KDE (as in: svn account holders).
> On UserBase the version number is wrong. Even with brave Anne and the
> others giving the UserBase pages so much care, which serves so much
> respect. Many Okteta packages still point to as homepage and
> have an outdated description.
> You get the fact.
> The solution I see is a canonical aboutdata format which is stored at a
> central place and feeds as much other places as possible. Single-source
> might be the buzzword to apply.
> The most logical place is again in the svn repository, a file per
> program/plugin, right in the toplevel code dir. This is already the place
> where already the most up-to-date metadata is located, that for the
> KAboutData. And also enables easy access for the buildsystem and
> translation system.
> So last weekend I finally sat down and turned a part of this idea into
> code:
> There you can find the program aboutdata_generator for now, which generates
> KAboutData feeding code from an about file.
> aboutdata_generator is to be used like Qt's UI compiler:
> Add to the CMakeLists.txt
>     kde4_add_about_files( YOURPROGRAM_SRCS YOURPROGRAM.about )
> and in the source file where the KAboutData instance was previously
> explicitely set, do just a #include <YOURPROGRAM_aboutdata.h> and use the
> class YourprogramAboutData as prefilled KAboutData class.
> For Okteta it works already sufficiently :)
> The about file used with Okteta as example is this:
> ?view=markup (data schema is of course not done yet, needs more input from
> all
> stakeholders, I started only last WE, so this first showing it off to more
> :) )
> IMHO UserBase should serve as a collection of usage information, like FAQ,
> tip &tricks, links to related stuff.  It also should be more integrated
> with the (creation of the) manuals we do, because the purposes are quite
> similar. But both should draw all meta/about data from the one single
> source, for consistency and zero-maintenance.
> Packagers might also like to be able to script part of their spec file
> creation. The OpenSuse Build system could even fabricate packages without
> any human input besides pressing "Enter".
> (and other software listing places, think freshmeat or
> could automatically import all the info about our released
> software, from some RSS-feed or another static place with given format.
> Back to topic:
> So maintenance for these app pages on should be no argument in the
> future. In fact I think there should be some detailed overviews on
>'s site about the software products we create, to help newcomers
> get a picture or find what they are looking for. Overviews like I did them
> in ;) For the time being entering all the data manually
> (well, Daniel had done a wild extraction script grepping the KAboutData
> filling code for base data) should be acceptable. I think  the system with
> the about files,
> aboutdata_generator, a commit-hook or better a cron script updating the
> base data of the apps pages should be done in the next two month.
> Including integration with the manual creation.
> Oha, long email, but hopefully interesting and motivating. Do you agree, is
> this about file system the way to go?
> Cheers
> Friedrich


Thanks for that mail, you exactly get the idea what these app pages are 
supposed to do. Serve as an entry point and finally (in the future) be 
automated. We were short in time to really make it update automatically but it 
is planned nevertheless.
Something like a unique source for app data was already discussed, it is nice 
to see first steps into that.
Oh, and btw, you have some nice stuff on, which you might want to 
contribute back to capacity (the media framework) ;)

Ingo Malchow
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