PackageKit Release Next Week

At the last GUADEC I mentioned to mclasen and hadess after a few beers that I wanted to look into a package management system service. I talked to davidz and he thought it was a good idea but very very difficult to do because of the technical difficulties and all the politics involved. I like difficult. I finished my university masters, and spent a few weeks just drawing UI sketches and prototyping server and client code. I announced what I was working on in my blog and to various mailing lists, and setup a public git repo on my tiny 500MHz EPIA server. Personally, I've probably been working on PackageKit an hour or so every day. After a couple of weeks, a few hundred commits and few developers we moved the git and web server to a proper server in a colo, kindly provided by kenvandine and elliot. Now we have nearly a dozen developers, half a dozen core developers and a busy, thriving mailing list. We've got formal commitment from a couple of distros for their next release, and other distro announcements that we can't yet share. Early next week I will release the first public release, 0.1.0, of PackageKit and gnome-packagekit. In 6 weeks we will have achieved something that many people said could not be done, with a small team of developers that want to do something for the community. I'm not sure what the point of this blog is, but if nothing else it's saying it's very easy to scratch an itch given a good idea, enough motivation and a strong desire to make something better. At GUADEC2008 I'll gladly do a presentation on how we've done all this so fast, and how we see the future of packagekit. Maybe then the frequency of my blog posts might reduce. :-)

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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.