More on the Fedora Packages web application project here… 🙂
So one thing that might stand out to you in the package profile mockup for Fedora Packages, above, is that the package has a big, beautiful vector icon from the GNOME icon project.
Sadly, we do not have big, beautiful icons for most of our packages. (If you’re an icon designer and would like to help, though, you’ll want to join the icon project and pop into #gnome-art on irc.gimp.net to get started!) So we need to figure out what to display there so folks can visually, at a glance, get an idea of what package it is that they’re looking at.
Later on, that icon area could be used for a collaborate screenshot gallery, for example, where folks can upload their screenshots or logo artwork for a given package. For now, though, let’s try to get a nice icon display first!
So Luke, J5, Spot, and I came up with a scheme to handle icon display for the many scenarios in which a package does not have an icon, or has a small icon.
One idea we had was to have a set of fallbacks; see the flow chart above for the full details. The main gist of it is:
If a package doesn’t have an icon, check to see if it’s part of a set of pre-defined categories. If it is, use the icon for the category. If it isn’t, use a generic package icon.
Furthermore, sometimes a package has an icon, but it’s too low-res (say less than 96×96 pixels.) The idea for handling this is:
If the package has a category, display the package’s smaller icon as an emblem layered in the corner of the category icon. If the package does not have a category, display the package’s smaller icon as an emblem layered in the corner of the generic package icon.
We think this scheme has a good potential to work out in practice. What do you think?
Defining the categories (and how you can help)
So here’s a stab of categories we put together that we could assign to individual packages in the Fedora universe, with an example of a package that would qualify for each:
- Command-line utility (think core-utils)
- Library (glibc)
- Service (cups)
- Programming Language (python)
- KDE (kdebase)
- GNOME (gnome-shell)
- Plug-in (gxine-mozplugin)
- Applet (hamster-applet)
- Windowed application (xpdf)
- Game (robotfindskitten)
- Core OS (kernel)
- Development (xorg-x11-proto-devel)
- Subpackage (tkinter)
- Driver / Module / Firmware (xorg-x11-drv-nouveau)
Surely, we’ve missed some important category or split things up incorrectly. It would be really, really helpful if you could provide us feedback via the blog comments here on where we’ve gone wrong.
How do we apply these categories to the packages once we’ve got them set and have developed icons for each? We may have an interesting idea for that; keep on tuning in to learn more as it develops. 😉
Wait, what…. what are you doing?
We’re developing the next iteration of Fedora Community, a centralized web application for folks who manage packages in Fedora or simply want to learn more about packages can go to look information up quickly & easily without having to ramp up on our rich suite of command-line developer tools. If you’re new to packaging in Fedora or you have no intention of becoming a packager and want to explore our package set, this tool is really for you.
Read more about the project in this introductory blog post, and you can see the full set of blog posts regarding the project. We also have a Fedora wiki page with mockups and are working to get our application thus far working in a staging environment so you can play with it!
Anyway, I really look forward to hearing your comments on this!