packages website in progress

Generally speaking, I don’t like writing posts just to give a status report, since there’s nothing to show … especially in this case … but I guess I’ll make an exception.

I’ve been working on the packages website rewrite over the holidays, and it is really starting to come together.  I’ve decided to short circuit the process and instead of going for a full-featured site that I’d like to have, just duplicate the bare minimum of the old site to get it up and running as fast as possible.

I don’t want to raise hopes too much, but it’s gonna be a really cool site — not the first launch, but what it’ll eventually become.  I’ve rewritten all the code to access the portage tree, and I have classes to access just about everything.  Doing that has given me a tremendous amount of flexibility, and it just makes things easier to bang out.

There have been some rough spots that I have run into that are some hurdles.  Right now I’m working on determining masked packages.  Always a bit tricky, but thank goodness that’s the hardest part I’m running into right now.

I don’t have a timeline for when I expect the site to be up.  I’m actually ready to start rewriting the frontend for it right now.  I’m looking at getting a new design theme for it, and I’ll probably wait to get that before launching it.  I already have a new domain for it, too.  Much shorter, easier to remember and type.  Realistically speaking, I think the site is probably going to be going live somewhere near the end of December.

Hosting is still a problem.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with it, partially because I’m not sure how much CPU or traffic load it’s going to generate.  I have three options right now — host it at home, on my Linode or on a shared hosting account — neither of which I’m really excited about since I think they’ll all have different things they’ll choke on, network traffic, CPU usage and speed, respectively.  So it’s gonna be very likely that it gets bumped around a bit at first.

One last thing I wanted to mention.  I almost decided to completely abandon the project completely, since it seemed like no one really cared that I had even taken it offline.  I have had a few people poke me though, and ask about it’s status, and I’ve seen it mentioned in a few other places.  This is one of those projects that I’m never sure if anyone ever finds it useful, so lack of feedback makes me want to drop it completely.  Inversely, any feedback makes me want to work on it and keep it going.  So, I’m really curious to hear what you liked about the old site.

Also, along that same vein, something else I’m going to do with the new site is build out features based on requests only.  I have a lot of ideas that I’d like to put in there, but instead of doing that, I’m going to hold off on them and just build out what the users want.  Everytime someone tells me how they use it, it surprises me because I never imagined it being accessed in that way.  So, again, feedback is critical.

Well, that’s all for now.  Again, I don’t know how soon I’ll have a super slick website up.  Chances are, that I’ll put an XML API up first (another new feature) or the RSS feeds since that doesn’t require any nice eye candy.  We’ll see.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “packages website in progress

  1. Brian Dolbec

    I know exactly where your coming from. I too lately get little feedback when I ask for it even. But like you, it seems sometimes the only time you hear anything is when it doesn’t work.

    Don’t fret. It seems to me that a lot of people are understanding of your rebuild and are waiting patiently. I’ve seen a few posts in that regards.

    Keep up the good work. If you need any help interfacing with portage for info retrieval I would be more than happy to try and help.

  2. Kollin

    Thats great! We`ll finally get official, rich of features, search able packages site.I`m tired of using ersatz sites.
    Do not despair!
    Keep up the good work!
    Best regards:
    Kollin

  3. Jim T

    The package sites have historically been unreliable. So new outages may not get reported for a while, assuming the downtime will be short.

    I do use packages.larrythecow.org tho. It’s been by far the best package site for the way I work (I just can’t stand the ‘official’ one).

    I’m looking forward to seeing the new version. Best of luck, let us know if there’s any way we can help.

  4. rickj

    Personally, I’ve really missed the package site, and most particularly the “search” function. I have been using pEbuilds, which is good, but an official site with decent features is long overdue. Keep up the good work.

  5. dermartn

    I am looking forward to see the new site. the search funtion is the most important feature, I think (and miss).
    Thanks a lot and keep on rockin’ gentoo

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