Just a quick hint: Mike Kuketz released a blog post about how you can use Blokada to block ads and trackers on your android device. In his post, he explains how Blokada uses a private VPN to block DNS requests to known tracker/ad sites and recommends a set of rules to configure the app for best experience.
He also briefly mentions F-Droid and gives some arguments, why you should get your apps from there instead of the Play Store.
The blog post is written in German and is available on kuketz-blog.de.
As a result I get a list of all txt metadata files that do not contain the String “Changelog”. Those are our culprits.
For every of those files (quite a bunch) we now need to find a changelog. Unfortunately there is no standard place to put a changelog and many developers don’t do changelogs at all for their apps.
Nice places to search are any existing “changelog.md”, “changelog.txt” etc. Though I think that @Izzy covered all of those already. As a next step I’d search the apps website (if it exists) for a changelog section, or do a quick Google search for it (worked for me in case of Wikipedia, PEP…). Lastly I check, if the release section in the repository contains useful information (i.e. not just “Bump version”, but actually useful information about added features and such).
In case I find any of those information, I add the URL to the changelog to the metadata file. See for example the changes to the Wikipedia Android app metadata.
Usually I make those changes in a dedicated branch per app (eg. wikipedia_changelog) and then create a merge request against the fdroiddata repository.
I hope my post will inspire someone to join in on the work 😀 I’m working my way from the bottom up (from ‘z’ to ‘a’), so it would be nice if I could meet somebody in the middle 😉
Planets are a thing of the 90s, but still they are quite cool as they can bring a community closer together by helping users to exchange ideas. I hope this will also work out for the F-Droid community 🙂
For that reason I proposed to set up a planet for F-Droid / FOSS Android development in the F-Droid forum. After explaining my idea, Hans suggested that I should give it a try and go serverless by basing the setup on GitLab Pages.
Up to that point I didn’t even know, that GitLab Pages was a thing, as I only ever came in touch with Github Pages (shame on me). However, setting everything up was pretty straight forward and I’m quite happy with the outcome.
I chose the planet software Venus for the job, as it was one of the only search results I found while researching the topic. It was also the one used by some planets I already personally followed. Venus is a python program, which fetches the list of registered blogs and creates a directory with static HTML/CSS files which contain all the blog posts. That HTML can then be deployed somewhere (in our case GitLab Pages).
I configured GitLab CI to run Venus every 30 minutes. I might increase the interval at some point, as 30 minutes might be overkill.
Design-wise I tried to mimic the style of the F-Droid website as close as possible, but I’m not a web designer and haven’t got in touch with HTML + CSS so far, so there are still a lot of things that can be improved. However, it was a lot of fun to experiment and do trial and error to come up with the current design. If you want to jump in and help me with the CSS/HTML, feel free to contact me!
The only thing missing now are blogs! If you run a cool FOSS, Android development related project and/or blog about your adventures in the FOSS world, please apply to be included 🙂
For now the planet can be found here, but I hope that it can at some point migrate to a F-Droid subdomain.