Packaging Application Metadata

Daniel Zwolenski zonski at
Mon Mar 25 08:06:52 PDT 2013

I'd recommend creating a JIRA for this as the deployment guys are
(hopefully) working on improvements in this area. They may have
inclinations in this direction but I'd be surprised if there was anything
solid in the pipeline or on the horizon. There's a 'deployment' category or
something like that where it should end up with the right people.

I looked at JNLP as a basis for this sort of stuff but it has a lot of
legacy that complicates areas that don't need it (e.g. native packaging).
I'd suggest (and have suggested in some long emails in the past) an
application profile of some kind that can be used as the main deployment
descriptor for Java apps regardless of how it gets deployed and may also
form the base of Auto Updating.

Having said that, I'd personally leave JNLP and Applet completely alone and
only look at the newer deployment options for this sort of stuff. They are
likely to be unusable options before too long as browsers stop plugins and
OS's lock into app stores. The horrid legacy of JNLP and Applet hinder all
the new options (app stores, native installers, mobile, etc) from evolving
quickly. Some people will likely object to that though, just my opinion.

Also be aware there are complications with things like icon formats (need
to convert between .ico and .png, etc), image sizes, allowed characters and
lengths in names (e.g. wix supports different things to mac, etc),
licencing information needed for different platforms (e.g. app stores),
etc, etc. So standardising will be quite a complicated process that would
likely take a fair bit of time to nail down if work was started on it. As
usual don't pin your hopes on any good solution arriving soon (Java8 would
be extremely optimistic I imagine).

On Mon, Mar 25, 2013 at 9:44 AM, Mark Fortner <phidias51 at> wrote:

> I've been wondering if there were any plans to standardize packaging
> metadata?  It strikes me that we should be able to specify dock and desktop
> icons, splashscreens, application names, OS-specific packaging properties
> (like the ones used in Mac OS X) and dependencies in a single place that
> can be used by both an application packaging tool, and on application
> startup.  The JNLP file has most of these elements already and could serve
> as a useful starting point.
> Any thoughts?
> Mark

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