Diablo extras: why the issue and how to help

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2008-06-26 08:46 UTC by Quim Gil

No applications in Diablo extras is not fun. Users are complaining about this, with a reason. For the very impatient, there is a not very clean workaround useful in most cases. For the average impatient, this evening there will be already some cool apps available to download. The rest, please keep reading.

Please don't blame the developers or Nokia for this. We are doing something right, even if the execution could have been more synchronized and efficient. At the end this is community work and some glitches appear sometime.

Many of the users complaining today about the lack of applications in Diablo extras have probably suffered installation problems in the past. That error message talking about a missing package or a conflict of dependencies. Some community contributors such as Ed Bartosh, Niels Breet, Mikhail Sobolev and Grahan Cobb have been sweating the pants to solve this in the best way:

  • No binary uploads for open source packages. Developers upload the source, that is build automatically. This grants the an homogeneous level of quality for all the packages. Anybody can look at the sources if there is any problem, and eventually help out.
  • No direct uploads to extras. The packages go first to extras-devel (a repository users really don't want to activate) and they are promoted to extras when they are ready with all the dependencies satisfied within extras. This means no more SDK or external repositories activated by users in a rush to get the desired application installed, opening the door to more future install problems.


The benefit is clear: the applications users see in the Diablo extras repository are proved to install flawlessly.


Now comes the most important part: you can help.

  • If you really miss an application and you don't know anything about packages, just list it here.
  • If you get an error when trying to install an application take note of the packages that are reported to be missing or conflicting and list them here.
  • If you develop an application make sure it is listed here with a nice green OK. If you have problem satisfying the dependencies list the packages you need here.
  • Those with the skills can help out picking one of the packages requested here. Leave a note saying that you are working on it, so other packagers will not pick it as well.


There are many people doing this work silently right now, including Nokia developers helping out. You can follow the progress here and ultimately in your device every evening.

The most active contributors to the Diablo Extras Challenge 2008  ;) will be invited to OSiM World and the Maemo Summit, with travel and accommodation covered. Graham Cobb has won all the merits already! Thank you very much and hopefully you can make it to Berlin.

Who's next?

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t z
Karma: 266

I just want to thank Nokia and those they have working on Maemo for doing this right. Yes it will take some effort, but no more broken dependencies, no more shades of gray compatibility.

(The SDK stuff seems to work well too, but I'm still checking it out)

And thanks to the developers who are working to get things in extras right.

2008-06-26 13:59 UTC
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