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From Anthony Bryan <>
Subject Re: Publishing metalinks on the download page
Date Sun, 18 Oct 2009 20:22:56 GMT
Hi Stefan, apologies in the long delay in replying...

> On 2009-09-03, Bram Neijt <> wrote:
> > On Thu, 2009-09-03 at 16:54 +0200, Stefan Bodewig wrote:
> > That said, you could host your own metalink with only one or two
> > mirrors, anybody using aria2c for example, would no-longer require to
> > hand-check the digest after download.
> The way we create the download page could probably be used to create a
> metalink XML file as well (i.e. an XML file that contained exactly the
> same mirrors that are shown on the download page).
> I don't have a strong opinion on whether we want to do that.  Others?

I guess no one is that passionate about this... :)

I think the best solution if you're interested in metalinks is to
create them with your download page, as you mentioned.

If you create them, you can decide which hashes (MD5, SHA-1, SHA-256,
SHA-512) & mirrors to include.

You already encourage users to verify checksums at - but as noted
these checksumming tools aren't included on Windows. Granted, you
still have to install a download program to make use of metalinks
(most download managers do, & there's an easy Firefox extension), but
checksum verification is automated.

You can also (optionally) include PGP signatures. Most metalink
clients currently don't make use of them, but I think that the more
projects that include them then more clients will use signatures.

The download page states: "If you encounter a problem with this
mirror, please select another mirror. If all mirrors are failing,
there are backup mirrors (at the end of the mirrors list) that should
be available."
That's why the mirrors are included in the metalink, so the download
app will failover automatically to other mirrors if it encounters a
problem. Basically, as long as the user has a net connection and 1
mirror is still up, the download should complete.

The Ant download isn't that large, but I think metalinks could be
helpful to some of your users and the time investment is done once,
then automated. I've included a sample metalink with only a few

Feel like giving metalink a trial run?

(( Anthony Bryan ... Metalink [ ]
  )) Easier, More Reliable, Self Healing Downloads

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<metalink version="3.0" generator="Metalink Editor version 1.1.0"
    <name>Apache Ant</name>
    <name>Apache 2.0</name>
  <identity>Apache Ant</identity>
  <description>Apache Ant is a Java-based build tool. In theory, it is
kind of like Make, but without Make's wrinkles.</description>
    <file name="apache-ant-1.7.1-bin.tar.bz2">
	    <signature type="pgp">
Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (GNU/Linux)

        <hash type="md5">9330447f3763b87570dd1118c49a8efd</hash>
        <hash type="sha1">b078ba89301687662f100da7b059105f32004f7c</hash>
        <hash type="sha256">24e54c9d90b81d1b7342695a8285a969393fd883e99ffbbc04203c106d9c2f97</hash>
        <url type="http"></url>
        <url type="http"></url>
        <url type="http"></url>
        <url type="http"></url>
        <url type="http"></url>
        <url type="ftp"></url>

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