ONE. MEELLEON. SOURCES. (Or: I have an idea)

Discussion in 'iOS Jailbreak & Cydia' started by Mindfield, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. Mindfield

    Mindfield New Member

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    The way I see it, here is how things stand right now: There are dozens of sources. Some of them are app/developer-specific, so they're cool because the author/maintainer of that app can keep us up-to-date on his/her latest and greatest. Some sources are generic repositories, which may or may not duplicate apps/downloads that are already found on other sources, and whose duplicates may not be as up-to-date as another source. There are new sources popping up here and there, and the more sources we add, the longer it takes to refresh those sources -- especially if one of them is down for maintenance or the net is having a hiccup.

    There are some fine folks here who help maintain nice clean lists here of all of the available sources and what you can find on them, just to try and make things a little easier for folks who may find themselves lost amid the tangle and would like some direction. Their work is greatly appreciated and they are what help make this community a cooler place.

    But this is only going to grow. More sources will appear, more apps will appear, lists will get longer, sources will take forever to refresh, Installer will continually notify us of updates to apps we already have newer versions of because the update is from a different source that hasn't kept pace with version changes but we don't want to get rid of that source because it maintains some other cool stuff that isn't on any other source, and.......

    And I think something needs to be done. We kinda need to clean this up here. It was all great and fine when there were few sources and few apps; refreshes were quick and we could always trust what Installer told us needed updating and what the latest packages were. But the community is in rapid expansion. Apps and sources are appearing with greater frequency as more people get on board with the Touch -- developers and users alike. We can't keep going the way we're going in three, six months, a year -- can you imagine the list of sources then? The number of apps? The Touch has barely even passed its first quarter yet and look at all the stuff we've got for it. It's pretty astonishing, really.

    What we need is a source. A source. The source. One repository, maintained by the community -- the developers, level designers, skinners, everyone -- that will contain the files for Installer, descriptions for the "more info" section in Installer, and anything else that will be needed, where developers or even just users can upload the latest and greatest, all neatly categorized and available to Installer under one source address.

    Yeah, it's a bit idealistic, but I really don't think it's unrealistic -- on the contrary, lots of people here have shown that they are willing to take on projects of their own to keep the community organized and informed, donating their time as needed to help out where they can, and those folks are awesome. If we can gather these people together to work on a project like tis, we could end up having a single, easily maintained, up-to-date repository that (ideally) contains everything that's available for the Touch, neatly categorized and easy to use.

    What does everyone think? Good idea? Bad? Any volunteers to get in on this? I am willing to do whatever I can to kickstart and help out with a project like this and I would love to hear from anyone who is willing and able to join in and turn this into a One Source Town.

    Thoughts, suggestions, whatevers always welcome.
  2. Hazed

    Hazed Retired Moderator

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    It's a great idea, but it's never going to happen.

    You would have to contact every single person who has a source, get them to agree to include they're stuff in one single source and then make sure they update the one single source owner with all their new stuff...

    That and the fact your gonna need someone or a group of people that can speak a large variety of languages to be able to communicate with foreign source owners.
  3. Mindfield

    Mindfield New Member

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    Not necessarily. The main reason I suggested that this be a community project is that users themselves (perhaps a select group, just to keep it clean and organized) could obtain said apps and put them on this source themselves. Of course it would always be cool if devs, skinners and designers would help maintain their own stuff, but failing that it could fall to volunteers, team members, to keep tabs on stuff and update where needed.

    Given the diversity in this community already, I don't think that's going to be a huge problem.

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  4. Mindfield

    Mindfield New Member

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    Let me put it this way: Do you (that is, all of you) think that as more and more apps appear; as more and more sources show up; as refresh times increase due to more sources needing to be updated; and more duplicate apps and "updates" appear for apps you've already updated because different sources are reporting the same (or even older) updates; do you think that the current multi-source method can continue to support its ever-increasing weight in a community that is rapidly expanding and whose pace will only continue to increase? Eventually, users with several dozen sources are going to start complaining about the long refresh times, the app duplication and the confusion over update versions.

    If anything is to change in this regard, it has to be now, before things get so out of hand that the project becomes too daunting for people to want to tackle. It's big now, but not unmanageable and entirely doable. If it helps, think of this project as the Wikipedia of installer sources; the community itself creates and maintains it, and given enough time and manpower, it could become, for the end user, the kind of forward-thinking, one-stop-shopping source that this community really needs if it is going to continue on the way it's going.

    I really think this is doable, but only if there are those who are willing to put some effort into it and make it happen. As I said, I'm willing to do my part, but I alone cannot support it. This community is already too big for one person to stay on top of.
  5. SkylarEC

    SkylarEC Super Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    I dont' know, it doesn't really bother me right now. Maybe I'll change my mind in the future. As of right now, I only have a small amount of Sources: the standard, touchrepo, iapp-a-day, iphysics, and idevdocs. There needs to be something really compelling before I add a source. I wish more people were more discerning, but what can I say.
  6. mike_switch561

    mike_switch561 New Member

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    Well really if you have that problem, just dont have soooo many resources.....duh! lol And even if this did happen, it is still going to take A LONG time for it to refresh cause you got so many darn apps and crap on that source.

    Also I found this. Might answer your question "Mindfield"
    http://www.ifans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9720
  7. Mindfield

    Mindfield New Member

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    I just wanted to clarify that I am not concerned with the way things are right now, at this very moment. As I mentioned earlier, things are at a relatively tolerable level right now. But more developers are jumping on board, which means more apps and more sources, and this is going to continue to get progressively more crowded. When that happens, it's going to become unweildy.

    Naturally one should be discerning about which sources they add to Installer -- but be honest, how many end users are going to do that? The first instinct most users, particularly new users are going to have is, "I just got this awesome new device and now I want everything I can get my hands on." Their first act, after installing community sources, is going to find out if there are more sources available. That will inevitably lead them here and they'll either find the plethora of sources collected here or install All Sources. Then they've every imaginable source. Imagine how that's going to be when the number of sources doubles -- or triples.

    And no, refreshing one source, even with a load of apps, won't take a tenth as logn as refreshing a whole bunch of sources. The majority of the time it takes to refresh comes from Installer establishing connections to and ultimately retrieving information from your installed sources. The actual data transfer time minimal by comparison.

    I'm really just doing a little forward thinking here, picturing where we'll be in two, three, six months and more, and from my point of view, that place is pretty messy. By doing something to head off that eventuality now (and it will happen, don't kid yourself), that can be avoided.

    I mean, if people don't want that then, well, who am I to argue? I just think it would be prudent to consider the future of our current method of wireless software exchange, because while it works fine right now, I think it's going to become fairly messy -- and sooner rather than later.
  8. Rawd

    Rawd New Member

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    What about an App that finds, installs, and deletes sources for you without having to type them in?
  9. Mindfield

    Mindfield New Member

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    If you mean the ability to selectively install sources from a list, that could be accomplished by simply creating an Installer repo that creates Sources category in Install and lists every known available source. It would have to be maintained by someone, but it's an option.

    More to the point though I think this would just be a stopgap that doesn't really do anything to address the issue; it merely cleans it up a little. You're still left with the underlying problems of having countless sources and app/update duplication from those disparate sources.

    I realize it will be impossible to truly have just one unified repository as anyone can create their own repo and there will be plenty of devs who don't know about this one. But that can change over time as it becomes more well known. I think it's worth considering at the very least.
  10. Applefan69

    Applefan69 New Member

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    What THE BEST PLAN WOULD BE. Is if developers perfected downloading off safari. Then someone updated installer.app to install packages once downloaded by safari

    With that we could just make a wikipedia-like website that has all the links to all the sources and packages.

    With that developers can be reesponsible of getting their packages linked to this "main page"

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