[Replicant] Interested in contributing to Replicant

Hans-Christoph Steiner hans at guardianproject.info
Mon Aug 15 11:33:12 UTC 2016

Hey Aditya,

Thanks for volunteering!  Happy to help you get up to speed on F-Droid
development.  The best way to chat with F-Droid dev like me is via our
IRC room: irc://irc.freenode.net/fdroid (I'm _hc there), asking in issue
reports is also good.  Email and https://f-droid.org/forums are other

If you want help push the possibilities of developing Android apps using
100% free software, you could also use the Android-SDK and Tools
packages in Debian, they are currently only available in Debian/testing:


In Debian/testing, you just do `apt-get install android-sdk`.


Denis 'GNUtoo' Carikli:
> On Wed, 10 Aug 2016 13:16:46 -0400
> Aditya Bharadwaj <aditya_bharadwaj at msn.com> wrote:
>> Hey Denis,
> Hi,
> I'm really sorry for being late to respond.
>> In response to your blog post regarding Replicant 6.0 early work, I'd
>> like to contribute to Android Application based areas as I'm an
>> Android Developer.
> Thanks a lot!
>> Please point me to how I can get started, I've already made an
>> account on redmine with user name: aditya
> Building f-droid client:
> ------------------------
> The first thing to do would be to compile the f-droid client.
> Its source code is at https://gitlab.com/fdroid/fdroidclient.git
> According to their README, they expect users to build it this way:
> ./gradlew assembleRelease
> Not being familiar with Android applications development[1], I don't
> know if that's the only step required, or what it would do behind the
> scenes.
> More specifically I don't know if you are required to have an SDK
> installed and which ones are supposed to work[2].
> Specifications and source code:
> -------------------------------
> The FSDG guidelines[3] requires Replicant not to promote non-free
> software. Practically speaking we ship f-droid which has in its
> repositories software that do.
> A good example is the Firefox application which, in its add-on manager,
> has non-free software.
> Practically speaking the apks from the official f-droid repository are
> built from package definition that comes from fdroiddata[4].
> In the case of applications such as Firefox, the package definition
> contains some anti-feature tag:
>> AntiFeatures:NonFreeAdd,Tracking,UpstreamNonFree
> Suggested fix:
> --------------
> F-droid already has:
> - a way to get such data since it will warn the user about such
>   anti-features by displaying them in red in the f-droid client.
> - a way to filter out applications: in f-droid settings we have a
>   section called "APPLICATION COMPATIBILITY", where the user can ask
>   f-droid to allow installing incompatible versions or not.
>   However, here, such applications are still displayed.
> The idea is to:
> - make F-droid detect Replicant
> - Add a way to totally hide applications.
> - Make f-droid hide all applications with anti-features, if running on
>   Replicant.
>   Hiding all the applications with an anti-feature is sufficient, even
>   if ideally we could only hide the anti-features conflicting with the
>   FSDG[3] guidelines.
>   Having a more fine grained filter could be implemented later, as
>   right now meeting the FSDG again is Replicant's top priority.
> Fix rationale:
> --------------
> The goal is to have a long term solution that require the least
> possible additional maintenance from Replicant community or
> developers.
> Once the fix is in f-droid, if a non-FSDG compliant application shows
> up in f-droid when using Replicant, all Replicant community or
> developers would have to do would be to send a patch to add an
> anti-feature tag to fdroiddata.
> This would be really straightforward and fast.
> Contacts:
> ---------
> The f-droid bugreport[5] is a good place to ask f-droid specific
> question on the fix implementation.
> The Replicant mailing list is also a good place to discuss it.
> References:
> -----------
> [1]I only wrote one tiny useless Android application with Replicant 4.2
>    SDK. That SDK uses Apache ant instead of gradle.
> [2]The last release of Replicant is the 4.2 version, however Wolfgang
>    is working on porting Replicant to Android 6.0, and knows more about
>    more recent Replicant SDK.
> [3]https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-system-distribution-guidelines.html
> [4]https://gitlab.com/fdroid/fdroiddata.git
> [5]https://gitlab.com/fdroid/fdroidclient/issues/564
> Thanks again for your interest.
> Denis.

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