AppStream is a metadata-enhancement project for both Linux distributions and upstream projects which develop for Linux. It allows upstreams to provide distributors with a machine-readable description of an application or generic software package, links to screenshots and websites and several other useful metadata. It also allows projects to assign a unique identifier to their software, which allows other software to find it in the distribution's package repositories. AppStream also is the basis for new exciting projects, like automatic UEFI firmware updates.
The first half of the talk will go into detail about why we need AppStream, and the work which was done to integrate it with Debian.
The second half of the talk 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 brief introduction on the Limba and XdgApp approaches to the software-distribution issue, and what we at Debian should prepare for in future.
URLs: AppStream @ Debian (outdated by now): http://blog.tenstral.net/2014/08/appstreamdep-11-debian-progress.html AppStream/DEP-11 metadata for Debian: https://appstream.debian.org AppStream docs: http://www.freedesktop.org/software/appstream/docs/ Limba: http://lwn.net/Articles/639072/ XdgApp: http://lwn.net/Articles/630216/ Cool stuff done using AppStream metadata: fwupd: https://blogs.gnome.org/hughsie/2015/03/03/updating-firmware-on-linux/