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From "Ant Bryan (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] Commented: (INFRA-1387) Have Metalinks (XML format listing mirrors and checksums for files) for downloads
Date Wed, 24 Oct 2007 02:09:50 GMT

    [ https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/INFRA-1387?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel#action_12537189
] 

Ant Bryan commented on INFRA-1387:
----------------------------------

> Any statistics on what percentage of apache downloaders use one of these tools? I'd guess
it is pretty low.

I'd be curious to know, but you're right it is probably pretty low right now as Metalink isn't
very widespread yet. The programs that do use it are pretty popular, aria2 is included in
most Linux distributions as is KGet (for those that use KDE).

More common tools like wget plan to support this in the future with a plugin: http://wget.addictivecode.org/FeatureSpecifications

> If it is automatically checking the file integrity against the md5 hash, that would be
an advantage, however.

Yes, it is automatically checking the file integrity against the included md5, or sha1, sha256,
etc. (Sorry, my mail to the list was more specific). You can also include piece/chunk checksums
and download errors can be repaired, but thats probably only useful for large files.

Reading "Verify the integrity of the files" at the bottom of http://httpd.apache.org/download.cgi
, shows the importance of integrity verification, and Metalink makes this automatic. (You
can also include PGP signatures). Most users downloading this type of stuff are probably familiar
with these procedures, but I think automatic use is a step in the right direction. A poisoned/corrupted
mirror might be noticed quicker.

If you're interested in implementing this, the Metalink project would like to help.

> Have Metalinks (XML format listing mirrors and checksums for files) for downloads
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>                 Key: INFRA-1387
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/INFRA-1387
>             Project: Infrastructure
>          Issue Type: New Feature
>      Security Level: public(Regular issues) 
>          Components: Website
>            Reporter: Ant Bryan
>            Priority: Trivial
>
> Metalink ( http://www.metalinker.org/ ) is an XML format used by download apps, and contains
the ways to get a file (mirrors/P2P) along with info for automatic error detection/recovery
(checksums) and other metadata.
> It can simplify the download process for the user, since they don't have to manually
try a bunch of servers that could be down, can automatically use local mirrors first, and
can repair downloads.
> About 15 download managers & P2P apps support it so far, including aria2, DownThemAll!
(Firefox extension), KGet2 (part of KDE4), and popular DMs on Windows and OS X like GetRight,
Free Download Manager, Orbit, wxDownload Fast, Speed Download, and TheWorld web browser. Over
20 other distros use Metalink, along with OpenOffice.org, cURL, and LugRadio.
> Here's what a metalink file (httpd-2.2.6.tar.gz.metalink) looks like:
>   <file name="httpd-2.2.6.tar.gz">
>    <verification>
>     <hash type="md5">d050a49bd7532ec21c6bb593b3473a5d</hash>
>    </verification>
>    <resources>
>      <url type="http"
>           location="us"
>           preference="90">
>       http://apache.oregonstate.edu/httpd/httpd-2.2.6.tar.gz
>      </url>
>      <url type="http"
>           location="us"
>           preference="100">
>       http://www.axint.net/apache/httpd/httpd-2.2.6.tar.gz
>      </url>
>    </resources>
>   </file>
> (And so on for all 50+ mirrors).

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