Concept about 1-click away software installation from PPAs? Is this possible?

At the moment, installing an app from a PPA is to be done by typing (or usually copy&pasting) 3 command into the terminal

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mycustomstuff/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mycustomstuff

While the above commands are clear and one can easily paste them into a terminal, they are definitely intimidating for newcomers, “frightened” by the “deep” text-only terminal, approach seen across the internets, daily people are saying “How can Ubuntu grow with such type of typing-based installations?”, “Why can’t this be more simple?”, etc.

The desired solution is this:

Ubuntu Software Center support installing apps by clicking a link, such as apt://, meaning, clicking on a link like apt://gedit opens the USC with Gedit in its main view, from where the user can simply click Install to install the Gedit app.

The same thing can probably be achieved with PPAs.

Navigating to a PPA, one can see its structure:

  • PPA description (the developer describes the PPA’s packages)
  • its name (such as ppa:ian-berke/ppa-drawers)
  • its packages (the actual contained applications)

How can this be transformed into a 1-click installation in a matter of developer-time days?
Launchpad is to generate a link next to the application, meaning, the new addition is to be exposed as an icon (and/or text) in a separate area, clicking on it opens USC with the app in its main view, clicking USC’s Install, installs the actual application.

The launchpad generated link must be different from the regular apt:// link in order to “force” USC to first add the PPA and to update the sources.
Probably the link should look like apt-launchpad://
Probably, an apt-launchpad:// should contain/trigger the PPA’s accurate name (needed to be added to software sources) probably via a separate script, because the actual clicking is to be performed only an preferred apps, (newcomers) completely ignoring other elements.

The tricky part: in order to expose the PPA’s apps into the USC, the actual PPA (of origin) must be added with specific commands (such as sudo add-apt-repository sudo apt-get update), commands to be performed under-the-hood, without the user to actually see them.
So, the desired process is clicking on the PPA’s 1-click install icon and Ubuntu (under-the-hood) performs adding the PPA and updating the sources, then USC is opened with the application ready-to-be-installed.

More advanced usage: a PPA containing numerous packages but only 1 app, should receive an apt-launchpad:// link only next to the actual app, so, a PPA containing firefox, liblibrary1, liblibrary2, liblibrary3, receives a 1-click install link next to firefox only, ignoring the mentioned libraries.

Generating apt-launchpad:// links is to be performed automatically for every app created on launchpad and on every app version update, while in the same time keeping the traditional method and available details displayed for more advanced terminal-based users.

The apt-launchpad approach is to support not only launchpad webpages, but also equally-important regular webpages, consequently, a blogger/user/open-source advocate can post an apt-launchpad link when another user is asking “Hey, how/from-where can I install the x app?, followed by the help-person providing a link like apt-launchpad://xcustomapp, clicking on it follows the above USC-based installation behavior.

A possible like-a-regular-web-link specific approach, could be clicking on an apt-launchpad link, thus sending a “message” to USC, then USC sends a message to launchpad receiving the PPA’s “metadata” (especially the accurate PPA name), then USC adds the PPA, then USC opens it in the installation regular view; the process if represented as such:

then again

What do you think about this method?
Please, answer with
1)That’s brilliant
2)Could be a good idea if …
3)Hmmm, not a much of a deal
4)Bad idea




About pacesettergraam

A good and realistic person

Posted on August 12, 2012, in ubuntu and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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