[LEDE-DEV] externalizing package management?

Oswald Buddenhagen oswald.buddenhagen at gmx.de
Tue Jan 10 15:22:46 PST 2017

On Sun, Jan 08, 2017 at 08:42:25PM +0100, Jo-Philipp Wich wrote:
> the imagebuilder should support all that already and it likely fills the
> "powerful desktop tools" part your concept requires.
i answered that in my other mail already.

anyway, specifically regarding the existing imagebuilder, i'm not really
satisfied. it's a big download which is specific to each target, and
requires pretty much a complete build environment. of course, it's the
obvious choice to minimize development effort, but as a user i'd expect
something ... nicer.

in my understanding, sysupgrade images (and uimages) are a pretty
uniform archive format, just like the feed packages are. that means that
a single generic tool should be able to work with all targets, over
extended periods of time, and would need to support a rather limited
number of features to accomplish the goal of building images from the
"regular" image+package downloads that are already available.

> Given the recent advances with Linux support on Windows 10 plus Docker
> etc. it shouldn't be too hard to bundle an ImageBuilder with some
> Desktop ui and an RPC client to remote-control the router via SSH or
that's way too new-fangled for my taste. :D
a simple desktop application (built with the cross-platform toolkit of
the developer's choice) would do just fine. all the steps that deal with
the archives can be handled in-process by linked libraries (most of the
code is already librarized). offer three pre-built binaries for the
major desktops. "regular" linux distros would package it for you as well.

of course, over time the scope of that application could be extended
into a generic openwrt installer which can actually flash uboot and
everything on top. that would actually provide significant added value
over the purely on-device update mechanism proposed in the other thread,
and could potentially significantly increase the user base of openwrt.

a different aspect would be developing it into a complete desktop-based
"luci" (basically an extended version of the initial idea of this
thread), but that seems kinda unreasonable to me.

> Do you plan to work on something like that?
given current realities of the size of my todo list and available spare
time, the best i can hope for is to inspire Someone Else (TM) to pick up
some of my ideas ...

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