A package search engine for Linux repositories

Green Is the Color

In order to be able to assess whether information is up to date, you need to pay attention to the color codes. A chart explaining what each color means can be found at the bottom of each page or in the documentation [3]. If you are always looking for the latest versions, you want to watch out for the color green.

In Figure 1, Firefox 76.0.1 is green, but Firefox 76.0, which was released only four days earlier at the time of writing, is highlighted in red and therefore considered deprecated. The newest version is beta version 77.0b3, shown in turquoise.

Sometimes an outdated version will not appear in red. Instead, it will have a yellow legacy label, which means that this version is still available for compatibility reasons (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Using Python as an example, it is easy to see that the obsolete Python 2 version will be with us for a while longer for compatibility reasons in some distributions, while other distributions have already radically removed it.

Deeper and Deeper

In addition to the versions currently available through the distributions, you can also select Packages, Information, History, CVEs, Related, Badges, and Report in the buttonbar at the top. Each provides a different view of the information for a given package.

Clicking on Packages opens up a wealth of additional information on the various Firefox packages per version and distribution, allowing comparisons between the packages of different distributions (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Clicking on Packages provides detailed information about the Firefox versions in a distribution. This ranges from information about the website and package maintainer to links to the build script.

If there is an official maintainer for a package, clicking on their email address reveals the other distributions for which they maintain this package. Package related links takes you to more information, such as the GitHub site, package information on dependencies and licenses, or which maintainer signed the package.

Unlike the Versions and Packages buttons, which focus on the package, Information lists data from all packages and groups it by type (e.g., versions of all known packages, summaries of all known packages, or links for all known packages).

Who's Been Busy?

The still experimental History button chronologically lists all actions related to Firefox (Figure 5). This view, like some others, can be set to Enable autorefresh, which causes the page to automatically refresh the content.

Figure 5: History provides chronological information with hourly updates on changes to the package under review across all monitored repositories.

Related lists connections from Firefox to other projects. The tool identifies related projects by recursively matching URLs on the package homepage.

Badges includes code snippets used to create badges that summon up information from Repology to be included on other websites as a badge. Badges come in different formats, determined by the code snippets.

Report lets you report problems in regards to how a project is displayed. Errors include the wrong latest version number, an unrelated entry that needs to be split into a new project, or entries for the same project with different names that need to be merged into a single project. Errors are virtually unavoidable with the abundance of cross-referenced information.

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

SINGLE ISSUES
 
SUBSCRIPTIONS
 
TABLET & SMARTPHONE APPS
Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • The sys admin's daily grind: urlwatch

    Experienced system administrators attach great importance to always being up to date when it comes to information technology. Urlwatch is a command-line tool that presents the latest news from websites that do not offer RSS feeds by email.

  • Tangram

    Tangram lets you track social media portals like Facebook and Twitter, as well as web-based messengers like Whatsapp and Telegram, in a single application window.

  • Why universal packages aren't universal solutions
  • Packages in systemd

    You might need to tweak your Debian or Ubuntu packages to get them to work with systemd.

  • Distri

    Linux package managers work too slowly. The experimental distri research project investigates ways to speed up package management.

comments powered by Disqus

Direct Download

Read full article as PDF:

Price $2.95

News