Application database icons

When pk-application gets packages that meet a search criteria it just prints the package name, version, summary and if it's installed or not. This is really bad from a UI point of view.

What I want is:

[ ] packagename-version
[ ICON ] Translated short description
[________] [more]

Unfortunately, neither the translated short description nor the icon is present in a rpm or deb. This seems odd to me, as in Windows world an installer package gets to choose its own icon, although I appreciate there is usually a loader involved.

gnome-app-install hardcodes everything to ubuntu package naming and iterates on a mirror of the ubuntu servers picking out desktop files. This isn't ideal as it's ubuntu specific and requires quite a bit of manual fixing up and package specific checks. But it looks good.

So we have several solutions to this problem:

  1. Modify every packaging system to return a translated package name and icon for each package in the repo.
  2. Maintain a separate packagekit-data package which is just full of icon files and translated .desktop files, and a per-distro common_name->package_name database.
  3. Don't display an icon for the package and only show the icon of the group type.

Option 1 would require massive code changes in all the packaging formats and isn't really an option.
Option 2 is a never-ending-story and there would be a massive workload to keep the database up to date and the translations fresh. There would need to be some sort of web interface to keep everything updated without a deluge of patches.
Option 3 is what I'm doing now, but looks completely amateur compared to gnome-app-install.

So, ideas?

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Richard has over 10 years of experience developing open source software. He is the maintainer of GNOME Software, PackageKit, GNOME Packagekit, GNOME Power Manager, GNOME Color Manager, colord, and UPower and also contributes to many other projects and opensource standards. Richard has three main areas of interest on the free desktop, color management, package management, and power management. Richard graduated a few years ago from the University of Surrey with a Masters in Electronics Engineering. He now works for Red Hat in the desktop group, and also manages a company selling open source calibration equipment. Richard's outside interests include taking photos and eating good food.

One thought on “Application database icons”

  1. I think option 2 is actually not bad. It requires someone maintain such a package, but it could be something that we even maintain between distros. Common source version of the package that includes contributed desktops files and icons. We can collectively maintain it, and to deal with package naming differences, include a mapping for package name per packaging system.

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