[Catalog-sig] UI for managing catalog

Andrew Kuchling akuchlin@mems-exchange.org
Thu, 16 Nov 2000 10:45:45 -0500

What types of interfaces do we need to support for managing the
catalog.  A Web-based version, through CGI, is clearly required.

Do we want to require FTP?  I'm inclined to say "no", since we want to
make it easy to run mirrors, and it's easier to run just a Web server
than a Web server + FTP server.  On the other hand, it's harder to
mirror Web pages; we'll probably need to provide an index page that
points to all the files.  The scripts underlying this system will run
on a single host, generating static pages that will get copied by
mirroring sites.

Here's a proposal, that hews very closely to the CPAN model.  Users
register themselves as developers, and get an ID.  For elegance,
we'll try to encourage re-using developer IDs from other registration
schemes: CPAN, Debian, SourceForge, etc.  

Developers then have two options: 

1) Upload their distribution through a CGI form, in either .zip or
.tgz format.  A script will extract the setup.py file to get the
metadata; users could also enter all this manually, but keeping an
accurate setup.py is encouraged.  If the developer has a public key, a
signature for the distribution will be checked as a protective measure
against hacked distributions.

2) Submit a URL from which the distribution can be downloaded.  A
script will then fetch it, extract setup.py, and everything follows as

We can then run automated scripts which check for updated versions of
software and automatically update the catalog.  

I don't understand how WebDAV would fit into this, and therefore it
should be left out of the first version.