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Freshmeat: Making it Easier to Announce New Software

Nov 12, 2000, 18:39 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Doc O'Leary)

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"When you want to announce changes in your project to several Web sites, you go to the first one and fill in a form with your new info. Then you go to the next one and do it again. And again with the next one. And again. And again. Doc O'Leary thinks he has a solution. Please read to the bottom for my comments and a couple of questions I'd like to ask everyone."

"In the (good ol') days when FTP and archie were king, it was fairly simple for developers to spread their offerings far and wide. I had scripts set up to drop the right files in the right locations, and it didn't much matter if there were two or twenty archives."

"Enter the Web, and the focus shifts from pushing software out to archives in favor of pulling people into Web sites. I think that's a good thing, because it puts more information into the users' hands, but in the process, developers have lost the ability to easily push anything out. Instead, we have to manually go to a number of tracking sites (the more the better, usually), set up accounts, and edit essentially the same information on all those sites."

"My long-winded question is essentially this: Is there any interest in automating this process? I currently have a property list (easily made available in plist or XML format (and simple to convert to other formats, if necessary)) I can use to build the dynamic pages of my site which contains all or nearly all the information that is gathered at various software tracking sites. If a general software description file format can be agreed on, simply making that file available would give sites all the information they need to update their database entries. No fuss, no muss. Minimizing the administrative efforts will really lower the barrier of entry for all sites."

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