PkgBase Relaunched

PkgBase has long been an unknown web site outside of FOSSwire; it was simply a quickly-linkable site that could be used to provide new users with instructions on how to install software packages.

And in reality, that’s all it should ever be. Today I’ve re-written PkgBase from the ground up. Instead of trying to guess the user’s operating system and spit out an error when something went wrong, the new site will now simply do nothing. That sounds like a bad thing, but now all of the information is on one page – no need for a different page for each distribution.

If PkgBase can guess the visitor’s distribution, then it will point them to the proper section of the page. If not, then the visitor can simply read from the top of the page and quickly find out what to do.

To use PkgBase, simply link to http://pkgb.net/, followed by the package you want to install. For example, if I want to make a link to install Gobby, I can simply use http://pkgb.net/gobby. Anyone who visits the link will be directed to the proper section of the page for their distribution; for me that link ends up being http://pkgb.net/gobby/#ubuntu.

Note the use of a slash at the end of a URL. If there is no slash present, then PkgBase will make a best guess at detecting the user’s distribution. If there is a slash at the end, PkgBase will assume you know what you are doing and will do nothing. This is to accommodate the use of page anchors at the end of URLs, so if you give someone a URL like http://pkgb.net/firefox/#gentoo, PkgBase will assume that you actually want to point to the Gentoo section and not try to guess itself.

There is a lot more that can be done with the site, and I’m still working on making it as easy as possible to install packages with no confusion. PackageKit would be a great option for this, though some client-side JavaScript will be needed to detect for the PackageKit plugin.

Feel free to use PkgBase anywhere you like. URLs are guaranteed to be permanent. I would love to hear your suggestions on how to improve the service.

Avatar for jacob Jacob Peddicord - http://jacob.peddicord.net/

Jacob is a web developer, student, and programmer from Ohio. He is a staff member at the Ubuntu Forums and is most likely a fanboy of the distribution. He loves to write in code and words, play video games, and rant about topics most would have abandoned long ago. Jacob uses GNOME and is never seen running stable software, much to the demise of his laptop.

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Discussion: PkgBase Relaunched

  1. # Posted on 29 March 2009 at 08:52 PM

    i notice there's no talk of Windows (or mac)......is this a linux only site?



  2. # Posted on 29 March 2009 at 09:20 PM

    Jared Forsyth said:

    i notice there's no talk of Windows (or mac)......is this a linux only site?

    For the most part, yes. I suppose I could add links for finding related software for Windows/Mac users.



  3. Silvio (guest)

    # Posted on 30 March 2009 at 01:18 PM

    Wow! How do you find out which packages I have installed and which ones I don't? Your black magic scares me! :) Also how do you know whether a package is available in the repos I currently have in my system? This is very impressive.



  4. # Posted on 30 March 2009 at 01:43 PM

    Silvio said:

    Wow! How do you find out which packages I have installed and which ones I don't? Your black magic scares me! :) Also how do you know whether a package is available in the repos I currently have in my system? This is very impressive.

    It takes advantage of the "apturl" package on your system for Ubuntu and Debian. Note the statusbar for the URL when you hover over the link: "apt:gobby." The website itself does not have access to which packages you have installed, nor is it smart enough to figure out which packages exist: http://pkgb.net/sadflkjasdhflkajds.



  5. Killerkiwi (guest)

    # Posted on 07 April 2009 at 08:17 PM

    I like it... my only point would be that there is 2 much information on the landing pages.... if the distro can be detected maybe you could collapse the other distros information with some css...

    also maybe some distro logos... and tie into http://screenshots.debian.net/ for some screenshots



  6. # Posted on 07 April 2009 at 08:32 PM

    Killerkiwi said:

    I like it... my only point would be that there is 2 much information on the landing pages.... if the distro can be detected maybe you could collapse the other distros information with some css...

    also maybe some distro logos... and tie into http://screenshots.debian.net/ for some screenshots

    Could definitely look into those points. Thanks for the suggestions.



  7. Silvio (guest)

    # Posted on 02 June 2009 at 06:52 PM

    Nicely done! Everyone should be using this when suggesting to install any package.



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