Two minor issues of the fedoraproject web pages and services have been fixed recently: the repoview is back again, and the build service search is now case-insensitive. In the meantime the package database shapes up to a central place for all package related tasks.
Fedora uses like most of the RPM distributions the XML package metadata repository format. The metadata tools allow the administrator to provide a HTML page with information of the packages, recent updates, etc. This was for example available in the old Fedora Extras repository. The new Fedora repositories however did not provide such a HTML page – you had to get the information from other places.
But now, a bug report later, repoview is back – and works pretty well. And it is of course available on the Fedora mirrors. The major disadvantage of this HTML view is of course that it is not searchable: search would require scripts which could be a problem on the different mirrors.
Another thing is that the repoview command has to be invoked every time anything changes in the repository, so sometimes you might see “old” data in the repoview.
Koji is Fedora’s build service for the various packages of the project and provides a web interface for accessing the important data. While the web interface is very useful one of the really annoying things was that the search was case-sensitive. In projects like Fedora where you have package names like “ktorrent” next to “PolicyKit” case-sensitive search is nuts. This was fixed recently, the web interface code will be updated in early December. It was just a minor issue, but it was still annoying.
Fedora Package Database
The general place to have a look at software in Fedora is in every case the Fedora Package Database. The web interface shows several important links of each package to the build system, the sources in the cvs, bug reports and the update state. It can be even used to manage the maintainership of a package.
However, the Fedora Package Database itself still doesn’t provide a search, making the tool much less usable than necessary. Of course there is a bug report and it is likely that the feature will be provided at some point in the future – hopefully case-insensitive 😀
These are all of course small issues – but they also show that and how the Fedora project tools grow together more and more. It was a long way, but it finally starts to really work well.
Fedora’s update interface now also provides feeds for the newest packages in stable and testing. Now the real power users can keep an eye on every new package via their feed reader.