• What is the content and format of the Changelog file names?

    Does there need to be an en-US entry as the default, or can we use any languages we like?

  • Thanks! Updated the snipped to make that clearer. More verbous:

    • Changelog file names must correspond to the releases versionCode, literally (no padding; so if the versionCode is 1, the file name should be 1.txt
    • in my experience, en-US is needed by F-Droid as it's always used as fall-back (so if someone comes with a locale not available in Fastlane, en-US seems what is looked for). You can add more locales, of course.
    Edited by Izzy
  • Does it support flavors with different app ids?

    /                                           (repo-root)
    └── fastlane
        └── metadata
            └── my.app.id_1
                ├── en-US                       (en-US seems to be required by F-Droid)
            └── my.app.id_2
                ├── en-US                       (en-US seems to be required by F-Droid)
  • No. To my knowledge, that's only supported by Triple-T. Where you now put the "my.app.id", Fastlane expectes the target OS (as far as I understood the docs).

  • Hello @IzzySoft and others, Do you think its acceptable for outside contributor to create the fastlane structure for apps and ask for merge or its better for the main developer to handle that ? Of course it depends on personal developer preferences if he/she accepts, but I am asking for any technical reasons against.

  • @DuMuT6p it's of course fine and much appreciated – that's how F/LOSS is supposed to work! That merge/pull request must of course be opened against the corresponding app's repo, as that's where Fastlane is looked for. And it's of course up to the corresponding repo owner/team to accept.

    As setting up Faslane doesn't require any programming skills, I'd even recommend that as a way a non-developer can contribute. And I see no (technical) reason why any project should reject such an offer, provided the content is fine 😉

  • @IzzySoft What are the recommended sizes/ratios for featureGraphic, promoGraphic, and tvBanner?

    Or is any landscape resolution good?

    Edited by Mark
  • I haven't found that mentioned with Fastlane. But they should correspond with those specified with the Triple-T file structure:

    • featureGraphic: 1024x500 (I've often seen half that size, i.e. 512x250, so that should be OK as well)
    • promoGraphic: 180x120 (no idea where it's used, to my experience it is very safe to skip)
    • tvBanner: 1280x720 (as with promoGraphic, no idea where this is used)
  • Thank you!

    And another question, how frequently are those data picked up?

    If I make a change, within how many hours will it be available in the store?

    Edited by Mark
  • That depends on the store. Assuming you refer to F-Droid: it's picked up whenever a new release is build (i.e. usually within a few days after your creating the corresponding tag). Note with F-Droid, Fastlane is bound to the tag the APK was built from – as is the code, of course, so they correspond to each other.

  • Got it, thank you

  • Ok, and the last question, what is the format of the locales? en-US and ru as in the example

    UPD: got it (https://www.andiamo.co.uk/resources/iso-language-codes/)

    Edited by Mark
  • I guess the changelog must be included into the tag for fdroid to pick it up or?

  • Yes. F-Droid picks up Fastlane from the very same tag/commit the app is built from. Other than that, the updater for my repo looks at HEAD.

  • @tom79 Please check my updated snippet: I was wrong! You can use multiple fastlane locations, including flavor-specific ones. No need to revert to Triple-T for your tubes and nitters 😃

  • @IzzySoft Ah! Thanks. I will revert to Fastlane. I have issue with Triple-T

    Edited by Thomas
  • if you need different descriptions for different flavors: F-Droid supports a.o. /src/<buildFlavor>/fastlane/metadata/android/, so no need to revert to Triple-T

    @IzzySoft It seems last update of UntrackMe and Tubelab failed with fastlane and flavors :(

    Does flavor name need to be in camelcase in /src/?

    Edited by Thomas
  • @tom79 mind opening an issue for that (not sure whether fdroiddata or fdroidserver are a better fit), so we don't clutter this snippet? Please include the repo link then so we can check. That part (what was planned and what's already implemented) is outside my horizon currently. I'm drowning in RFP and MRs, trying to decrease the huge backlog… In short I'd expect it must use the same "case" as the flavor itself uses (i.e. exact match on case-sensitive compare).

    Edited by Izzy
  • @IzzySoft My bad, I was using /<module>/src/<buildFlavor>/fastlane/metadata/android/ (not yet implemented) instead of /src/<buildFlavor>/fastlane/metadata/android/

  • but I am asking for any technical reasons against.

    yeah, i was wondering the same. the special context being - that i guess there is some form of auto-changelog available. And have doubt that maybe the project is using that - which i/outsider may be unaware of. So, that can be an error.

    But i am not even sure if auto-changelog even exists for real or just in my mind ;)

  • But i am not even sure if auto-changelog even exists for real or just in my mind

    There are workflows for that, yes – Github actions and other things, even "platform independent" projects scraping it e.g. from the commit history. But that goes beyond this snippet, so please let's not discuss it here and rather stay focused 😉

  • @IzzySoft I have a few questions regarding what is allowed:

    • Are pictures (for example the phoneScreenshots) allowed to be .jpeg or must they be .png? EDIT: According to https://f-droid.org/en/docs/All_About_Descriptions_Graphics_and_Screenshots/#image-file-formats, .jpeg and .jpg should be fine as well!
    • Is it fine to put other files (for example the gimp-files) into this file structure, or would that interfere with builds? (see here for an example)
    • Is the <strong>-tag supported? (something that is similar to the <b>-tag.)
    • In full_description.txt, are tables allowed? What about CSS-styles? This is what I am currently writing:
    Some Text. Some Text. Some Text. Some Text. Some Text. Some Text. Some Text. Some Text. Some Text. Some Text. Some Text. Some Text. Some Text. Some Text. Some Text. Some Text. Some Text. Some Text. Some Text. Some Text. Some Text. Some Text.
        <th style="white-space: nowrap">Week 1:</th>
        <td>Just step outside on the street, then return home.</td>
        <th style="white-space: nowrap">Week 2:</th>
        <td>Take a walk around your house/building.</td>
        <th style="white-space: nowrap">Week 3:</th>
        <td>Take a walk spanning 3-5 buildings.</td>
        <th style="white-space: nowrap">Week 4:</th>
        <td>Take a longer walk and add short jogging-segments into the mix.</td>
        <th style="white-space: nowrap">Week 5:</th>
        <td>Go jogging. Well done.</td>
    Edited by Glitchy-Tozier
  • @Glitchy-Tozier some of that is answered behind the initial links.

    • screenshots can be either .png or .jpg
    • other files should not be placed here – only what's described. We had cases where additional files caused issues. Should not – but definitely does not if it's not there, right?
    • for F-Droid, see forbidden html tags. Other stores might handle it differently (e.g. Play AFAIK strips all tags). The style attribute mostly works with F-Droid.
  • Thank you for your reply!

    screenshots can be either .png or .jpg

    This may be a stupid question, but does that mean .jpeg, will also work?

    for F-Droid, see forbidden html tags. Other stores might handle it differently (e.g. Play AFAIK strips all tags). The style attribute mostly works with F-Droid.

    Great, I'll be really interested in how F-Droid handles my table, then!

    Edited by Glitchy-Tozier
  • @IzzySoft Do you know of any size restrictions regarding the icon.png?

  • This may be a stupid question, but does that mean .jpeg, will also work?

    And as we found out: at least for F-Droid the answer is "yes".

    Do you know of any size restrictions regarding the icon.png?

    @Glitchy-Tozier not by definition, only by observation: it should be at least 48x48px, and at max 512x512 – steps in between seem to match what is usually taken in the midmap folders inside res/ – so 96x96 would be another valid size. IIRC I mostly saw 192x192 here, but I might remember that wrongly; smaller sizes I rarely observed.

  • @IzzySoft Thank you, I'll try my luck with 512×512 then!

    One last question (maybe 😉):

    Do you know how files are prioritized across localizations? Say we have a normal app-icon, we have a fastlane/.../en-US/pictures.icon and we have created fastlane/.../de-DE/ but don't have an app-icon inside our German fastlane-folder.

    Where will F-Droid now grab the icon from when displaying the German metadata? Will it use the actual app-icon or will it grab the one in fastlane/.../en-US/pictures.icon?

  • Apart from the fact that en-US/pictures.icon is a totally wrong location & name (so this file would be ignored at best, or even throw errors), what doesn't exist in one language (including screenshots, descriptions, everything) is always looked for in en-US, which is used as fallback and hence mandatory. And your icon would need to be en-US/images/icon.png 😉

  • Ew, yeah, i mistyped! No idea how i turned images/icon.png into pictures.icon 🤣

    Anyway, that's great to hear! I was afraid I'd need to spam my metadata with redundant pictures, so it's nice to know that one of them will suffice. :)

    Ty again!

  • Hello, Thanks for those explanation. I have a question. My application is for french speakers only. As I understood I need en-US/images/icon.png, en-US/title.txt, but is en-US/full_description.txt", and all the files in en-US` mandatory?

    Thanks in advance

  • Hi @jfoucry,

    as en-US is used as fallback for all missing details (if I e.g. use a de-DE locale which does not exist in your Fastlane structure), it is required. But it does not necessarily need to be "fully equipped". The bare minimum is short_description.txt and full_description.txt. I'd also recommend placing the graphics (icon, featureGraphic, screenshots) into en-US instead of into fr (or fr-FR), so they are available to all locales.

    Further, no need to be too detailed with the full description in en-US – but include as much that it's roughly clear what it is about, and that the app targets French speakers only.

    By the way, title.txt as well as video.txt are purely optional for all languages. If there is no title.txt, the app's name should be used – and if there's no video.txt there's no video (so also no need to place an empty file for those).

  • In full_description.txt, would it be possible to disable newline-to-<br> conversion adjacent to HTML block-level/listing elements (<p>, <ul>, <li>)?

    For example in my entry, break elements get inserted between paragraphs, lists, and list items:

    Screenshot of web listing showing ugly extra break elements, highlighted in the element inspector.

    The extra spacing looks ugly. More importantly, <br> as a child of <ul> doesn't validate:

    1. Error: Element br not allowed as child of element ul in this context. (Suppressing further errors from this subtree.)
    2. [...]

    I would prefer not having to collapse the HTML onto a single line (which is not great for git diffs).

  • @yawnoc newline-to-br conversion got nothing to do with Fastlane structure. That's something you'd need to report to F-Droid (fdroidserver repo, as that's where the conversion takes place when Fastlane is imported). If you take a look at apps in my repo, you will see there is no such thing as this conversion (unless explicitly set), as import is handled differently (skipping the fdroidserver conversion step).

    You can partly work around that by using what I call "Markdown light", as described in my wiki (also mentioned in above snippet: second-to-last bullet point). That's not ideal, but looks a little "less messy".

  • Thanks @IzzySoft!

    I have done some spelunking in fdroidserver and realised that the conversion is done separately in fdroid-website and fdroidclient.

    The issue has been reported (but not fixed), and it is a non-trivial one because the collection of all existing description files is a hodgepodge of HTML, MediaWiki, and plain text.

    I've just bumped fdroid-website#247 with my observations above. The equivalent client issue is fdroidclient#1776. In the meantime I agree that plain text is the best way to go.

  • I agree that this would be a necessary fix. Personally, I eventually gave up and used the actual "•"-character to act as if it actually was a list.

    <strong>Example of a Habit-Plan:</strong>
    Final Habit: <i>Go jogging every morning</i>
    Levels: <i>Every morning...</i>
    <b>• Week 1:</b> Just step outside on the street, then return home.
    <b>• Week 2:</b> Take a walk around your house/building.
    <b>• Week 3:</b> Take a walk spanning 3-5 buildings.
    <b>• Week 4:</b> Take a longer walk and add short jogging-segments into the mix.
    <b>• Week 5:</b> Go jogging. Well done.
  • Bad idea, @Glitchy-Tozier. Had you used the standard asterisk (without surrounding it in HTML tags), it could be parsed as Markdown (which e.g. my repo does) and format fine:

    <strong>Example of a Habit-Plan:</strong>
    Final Habit: <i>Go jogging every morning</i>
    Levels: <i>Every morning...</i>
    * <b>Week 1:</b> Just step outside on the street, then return home.
    * <b>Week 2:</b> Take a walk around your house/building.

    See here for formatting hints. Note the empty lines:

    • surrounding the bullet-point list: there must be an empty line before (or Markdown would merge it into the previous paragraph)
    • after each of the introducing lines: to make them separate paragraphs (could be skipped if you're fine with it being a single paragraph when parsed as Markdown; lines would still be separated then at F-Droid)
  • @IzzySoft Does regular Fdroid use Markdown though? I'm using the regular repository.

  • @Glitchy-Tozier currently not. That's why I linked to my wiki where the details are explained (what I call "Markdown light" works well for both – and you'd be prepared should F-Droid one day support Markdown there). Please understand that a Gist is not well suited for discussion, so I try to keep that part short here 😉

  • @IzzySoft This was helpful! Thank you so much.

  • Thank helpful too 👍

  • third="Beedell", first="Roke", second="Julian Lockhart"
    @rokejulianlockhart started a thread
    Last updated by Izzy
    • Sorry about this, but I'm somehow subscribed to this and have no idea why. Any ideas of how to unsubscribe? I can't find the right-hand list where the option should be.

      Edited by third="Beedell", first="Roke", second="Julian Lockhart"
    • Sorry, but no idea. The GitLab docs don't say. Maybe check with GitLab support. If you find out, I'd be curious to know, too!

    Please register or sign in to reply
  • Is it possible to set an arbitrary repo ? We set up something separate to avoid polluting commit history of our main app repo ? https://github.com/openfoodfacts/fastlane-descriptions-smoothie/ https://github.com/openfoodfacts/smooth-app

  • @pierre82 make a separate repository. Inside that, start the Fastlane structures at "level 2" (i.e. skip /fastlane and start right with /metadata). Then add this repo as a git sub-module to your app's repo in its root, giving it the name fastlane. That way, when the sub-module is checked out with the app (submodules: yes in the build block of F-Droid's YAML), it will work the same as if it was part of the app repo itself.

    This will reduce the "pollution" – but will still require at least one commit when updating for the next release. With your app in my repo, you'd not need to integrate the sub-module but would need to let me know where the Fastlane structures are – as I use a different mechanism than F-Droid.org, I can specify any valid alternative location (where "valid" means a valid Fastlane-structure either in a Forgejo/Gitea, GitLab or Github repo) – but with F-Droid.org you will.

    Though I wonder if those "fastlane commits" would really add so much overhead. How often would they happen? On average, I guess not much more than 1-2 times per version/release. So I'm not sure if that's worth the trouble 😉

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