new packages site: znurt.org

Even though I’m not nearly finished with it, and I didn’t get all the stuff in that I wanted, I decided earlier this week to do a feature freeze and push the site live as soon as I could, just to give myself a break.  So, without further ado, znurt.org is now live. :)

You may or may not know, but Znurt is the name of another Gentoo mascot of ours — he’s the little UFO / whatever flying around that you can see on Gentoo’s homepage.

I’m not real sure what else to say about the site, other than it’s been a lot of work, and I’m really proud of it.  If I had any idea of how many hours it’d take to put together, I never would have started on it, that’s for sure.  I think it’s safe to say I’ve put in at least 200 hours working on it in the past 2 months or so.  I think it’s turned out really well, though.  It’s a far better improvement over my old packages site which was thrown together quite hastily, and the code was pretty nasty.  This time around, everything is object-oriented which made it really go by quickly.

I’ve tried to put in some of the best features for launch as possible, but some just had to make the cut due to constraints.  The ones I really wanted was a page for new ebuilds, and a chance to have a feed of those, and customized by arch.  Same for new packages as well — a view for each arch.  The new packages section almost got cut completely, though, because of some issues I ran into at the last minute, but fortunately that one made it.

I’ll still be adding more stuff, but probably not at such a clipped pace as I have been for the past month.  You can track the planned features I already want to implement here.  If there’s other ideas you have, let me know, and I’ll see if I can get them in.

Which reminds me, I’d like to give a huge shout-out to all the beta-testers that helped out with the site development.  Every single person that got involved had a unique idea or perspective that I hadn’t even considered, and it really helped clean things up quite a bit.  Thanks, guys, I owe you one. :)

I hope you all enjoy the new site.  Please contact me about any bugs you find — hopefully I didn’t miss any obvious glaring ones.  Also, if there are any XML wizards out there, I’d really appreciate some feedback on the Atom and RSS feeds, in case I missed something.  Not really a strong point of mine.

The thing I like the most about working on the site is it really revitalized my interest in Gentoo, and working on the project as a whole.  I had been losing interest in it for a while, but I realize now that that was partly fueled by my slip-shod attempts at user websites (planet included).  Taking a weak thing and making it strong, though, has really helped to push me in the opposite direction, though.  Not to say I’m going to make a career out of Gentoo development or anything, but it sure does help fuel my passion when you have some work you can be really proud of. :)

In fact, working on this has inspired me to do a rewrite of Planet Larry as well.  Writing the XML feeds wasn’t nearly as difficult as I imagined, and though I don’t understand them too well, it’s definitely something I’d like to learn more about.  So, I’m going to ditch the planet software we are using and write my own, and finally give Planet Larry some features and love that it really needs.

Oh, also, there’s a twitter feed that I use just for the website development, if you want to see what I’m working on, there.  Have fun. :)

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21 Comments

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21 responses to “new packages site: znurt.org

  1. piorek

    Site is totaly cool. Kicks ass. :D

  2. didumos

    It looks awesome and has so many great features. I particularly like the list of deps and reverse-deps for each package.

  3. constantine

    oh noes! larry is flying Oo
    hey looks pretty damn good ! great work xD

  4. techstrike

    Excellent work; has a good look and feel… bookmarked!

  5. ph

    pretty damn sweet, took a long time, but it’s worth it :)

    some suggestions:
    1. in the purple headers, containing the apps-name, what about adding the corresponding logo if available?

    2. maybe include some overlays(at least sunrise)?

    3. give us the code, please :p

    • 1) corresponding logo? you mean from upstream, or what?

      2) eventually, thats the idea. It’s a pretty tall order though.

      3) that’s a work in progress, really low priority though.

      • ph

        1. yes, exactly. Recognizing images is usually faster than reading text.

        2. thanks for consideration.

        3. no problem, just thought of building i.e. a webmin module out of it, which could also handle de/installation or show packagestatuses of all systems in the network. Yes, it’s a rather long way, but would be nice :)

      • 1) Well, that one’s probably going to get ignored because it can’t be automated. I don’t think I’m really willing to go out and find them myself, either, and maintain their update. I could crowdsource it, but I don’t want to be on the end of verifying all the images, either.

        2) Overlays are really tricky because the way I access the portage details right now is through the metadata cache. Overlays provide, by default, just the ebuilds themselves, which is only half the information I need. I might be able to generate the cache locally though — I haven’t tried, tbh. Either way, it’s one of those ideas that have floated around my head, and I probably wouldn’t pursue it unless there was user interest. So far, you’re only the second person to ask for it, so it doesn’t seem like a huge desire.

        3) The code is already all in SVN, I just need to setup trac to access it. Server maintenance — especially when it comes to *my* servers — is usually the lowest task on my list, and I tend to avoid them for a while. I’ll get around to it, though. It needs to be out there.

      • ph

        1. Ok, I can see the problem, not every project has domain.com/logo.ext.
        On the other hand, Diego/flameeyes is building a lot(everything?) on his tinderbox, maybe he could share his /usr/share/icons.

        2. Well, it’s not really a ‘desire’. Personally I hate overlays and still pray for a git- or hg-based portage where overlays could be realised as branches. So it’s more about circumventing the problem and not that I really want it :)

        3. well, take your time, no need to go fast.

  6. marens

    Will it finally replace packages.gentoo.org?

  7. The website looks very good. Here’s a couple of suggestions, though, because I think that the red gives too much color to the site and hurts my eyes:

    1. I would change the red in “sort by platform” to the dark blue used in the package names.

    2. In the links, I would use the default blue instead of red.

    3. I would change the red to the dark blue in the search field, in the list buttons and in the “recent changes”.

    But this is only my opinion. It is also my opinion that this is the most beautiful Gentoo packages site ever. :-)

    Another suggestion, feature wise, is to create new feeds so that we can follow the packages of certain arches, like http://gentoo-portage.com has. Example: http://gentoo-portage.com/Newest/ppc

  8. Great Work!

    Could you please add a

    a { outline:none; }

    to the CSS to remove the red outline around the link in the header?

  9. BonezTheGoon

    Thanks! The site looks great, the search is amazing! Best Gentoo packages site I’ve ever had the privilege of using! I really appreciate your work on this!

  10. Anders

    The site looks really great! But it seems that it’s something wrong with USE Flags, for example searching for gentoo-sources and clicking Use Flags gives me the bug list. It works if I use gentoo-sources instead or if I open the Use Flags link in a new window/tab.

  11. Thank you so much! It’s true I got used to equery and friends in absence of the search feature of the package site, but this is so much smarter!

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