Metalink discussion mailing list

Ant Bryan
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  • Ant Bryan

    Ant Bryan - 2007-10-11

    I thought I posted this earlier, but don't see it here.

    If anyone is interested in metalink specific issues, there's a list at

    • Ant Bryan

      Ant Bryan - 2009-07-04

      a toast to 3 years of aria2 + metalink!

      did you see ? it mentions aria2.

    • Ant Bryan

      Ant Bryan - 2009-07-25

      request for review of IETF Internet Draft from all interested parties

      -10 version is newest right now, & there's a easier to read html version too.

    • Ant Bryan

      Ant Bryan - 2009-07-27

      many thanks for your help, tt!

      could you commit to svn the addition errors you found in the schema for & and , and with metalinkCommonAttributes?

      then I will submit it as the newest ID. I think we're getting close! :)

      • Ant Bryan

        Ant Bryan - 2009-07-28

        thank you for all the help again. looks pretty good to me!

        2 last questions:

        do you think a mimetype element is useful?

        should we remove or rename the type element? I think maybe renaming it to "dynamic" with values of yes or no would be more descriptive. what do you think?

    • tujikawa

      tujikawa - 2009-07-30

      > do you think a mimetype element is useful?
      I don't see any useful scenario that use mimetype element right now, but it solely depends on what the client want to do about it.

      >should we remove or rename the type element? I think maybe renaming it to "dynamic" with
      >values of yes or no would be more descriptive. what do you think?

      I like renaming to "dynamic". "type" appears several times and I think it is ambiguous to use it as an element.

    • Ant Bryan

      Ant Bryan - 2007-12-06

      2 recent metalink generator programs:

      metalink-library Metalink Library for PHP and Python

      A script based library to create and manage Metalink download files, which contain HTTP, FTP and P2P download links for single or multiple download files.

      On the fly generator of metalinks based on clients' geographical location. Mainly targeted Mandriva Linux, but written in a generic and portable way making it easily usable for other purposes as well.

    • Ant Bryan

      Ant Bryan - 2007-12-16

      I don't vouch for this site, but just noticed it returned metalinks, & recommends aria2.

    • Ant Bryan

      Ant Bryan - 2008-02-06

      does aria2 make use of the date & time sometimes found in metalinks? we are thinking of updating to use RFC 3339 & need to do testing if it will affect clients.

    • Ant Bryan

      Ant Bryan - 2008-03-01

      did you want base32 or base64 for checksums, or both?

    • Ant Bryan

      Ant Bryan - 2008-03-04

      DownThemAll has added metalink export in the development version (what will be 1.1). the exported metalinks seem to work fine in aria2.

      Export facility that exports as .metalink (+ some dta specific data in an own namespace) and text (one url per line).

    • Ant Bryan

      Ant Bryan - 2008-03-05

      I've posted a draft of the new metalink spec at


      here are the main updates.

      0.1 Changes in the Third Edition

      This third edition of the Metalink 3.0 Specification contains mainly clarifications, except
      for the change to using RFC 3339 for dates & times (, changes to tags (4.3.4), and
      deprecating unused or underspecified elements (4.3.8 and 4.3.17), and an explicit
      example of extending Metalink with XML namespaces (4.4).

    • Ant Bryan

      Ant Bryan - 2008-03-07

      Metalink is applying to be a mentor organization for Google Summer of Code.

      we have an ideas page at
      some of which involve aria2. if you have any ideas, please add them!

      • Ant Bryan

        Ant Bryan - 2008-03-09

        Tatsuhiro, would you be willing to be a mentor for Google Summer of Code (if metalink is accepted)?

        or do you happen to still be in school, & could apply as a student?

        • tujikawa

          tujikawa - 2008-03-10

          >Tatsuhiro, would you be willing to be a mentor for Google Summer of Code (if metalink is accepted)?

          I think yes, but I still don't have a complete picture what a mentor should do. Do you mean a mentor is a organization administrator?

          Sorry I haven't participated the discussion of gsoc 2008, jigdo with aria2 is very interesting.

          • Ant Bryan

            Ant Bryan - 2008-03-10

            from what I understand, the mentor works with the student when they need help or guidance & evaluate them afterwards. I don't think you need to babysit them.

            you could also help review applications.

            1. A pool of project ideas for students to choose from, publicly published by the mentoring organization as an "Ideas" list;
            2. An organization administrator to act as the project's main point of contact for Google;
            3. A person or group responsible for review and ranking of student applications, both those proposals which tie into the organization's "Ideas" list and "blue-sky" proposals;
            4. A person or group of people responsible for monitoring the progress of each accepted student and to mentor her/him as the project progresses;
            5. A person or group responsible for taking over for a student's assigned mentor in the event they are unable to continue mentoring, e.g. take a vacation, have a family emergency;
            6. A written evaluation of each student participant, including how s/he worked with the group, whether s/he should be invited back should we do another Google Summer of Code, etc.

            I would be the organization administrator.

          • Ant Bryan

            Ant Bryan - 2008-03-10

            if you happen to be in school still, you could apply as a student. the pay is much better vs mentoring :)

            otherwise, it would be great to have you as a mentor. we'll know a week from now whether metalink got accepted.

            yes, I think that could be a big improvement for jigdo! that's my hope anyways. stuff w/ Arch Linux/pacman could be cool too!

            • tujikawa

              tujikawa - 2008-03-11

              unfortunately, i am not a student;)

              OK, I'm willing to be a mentor of metalink gsoc project:)
              I'll read on about GSOC at the google website, as I have no experience like this.

              • Ant Bryan

                Ant Bryan - 2008-03-24

                Metalink wasn't accepted in GSoC this year (rats!) - maybe next year. it was at least a good thing that we got some ideas written out for possible projects.

                I'd still like to see someone tackle jigdo w/ aria2. I think it would be relatively easy work. anyone here want to get their feet wet? :)

              • Ant Bryan

                Ant Bryan - 2008-03-11

                I haven't done it before, we'll all be doing it together for the first time.

                we haven't been accepted yet, so don't spend too much time on it...but we should know by monday :)

    • Ant Bryan

      Ant Bryan - 2008-04-01

      there have been a few suggested changes to the metalink spec & I want your input, Tatsuhiro, if possible, when you get back online.

      Checksum verification is changed from optional to recommended. (I'd like to have it REQUIRED, but this might keep some lazy people from implementing it - maybe for the next version). 4 downloaders support SHA-256 and chunk checksums, so we're slowly marching ahead. everything does md5/sha1 except for TheWorld browser.

      "Recommended: Verify MD5, SHA-1, SHA-256, and SHA-384 checksums, along with partial file checksums."

      SHA-384 was requested (and SHA-512 by some). is either overkill? should people have the option, if they want to push ahead? we did not go so far as to add MD5 to the "NOT recommended" list with crc32 and md4.

      "sha1, sha256, and sha384 are encouraged. crc32 and md4 are NOT recommended."

    • Ant Bryan

      Ant Bryan - 2008-04-09

      there is a good discussion of "transparent" metalinks at

      these would function like this:

      regular download clients request and get regular files (w/ an option of metalinks listed on a page too, possibly)
      metalink clients request regular files but get metalinks, process them, and download the file - without any extra interaction from the user.

      there are various ideas, either paying attention to user agents, Accept headers, or something else. from the client side, what do you think about this for aria2 or other clients?

      from poeml:

      This sounds good because it will work. However, the requirement for the
      server-side intelligence it something that I would tend to avoid.

      I'd rather suggest the following:

      • the client sends an Accept header indicating its ability, but not
        application/metalink+xml, because nearly every client sends "Accept:
        application/*" which would mean the same. Thus, some different header
        is required. Either "Accept: x-application/metalink" (maybe), or a new
        header, like "X-Metalink: yes"

      • the server may notice and understand the header, and return a metalink
        file (either by generating it, or by rewriting the request to
        ${url}.metalink. The rewrite could be an internal redirect or an
        external redirect which sends the client to the new location (the one
        with ".metalink" appended).

      • if the client is about to follow a link which it acquired from with
        in a metalink <url> element, in order to get the requested file from
        the same server, it must not add the header which indicates its
        ability, to avoid a loop.

      I think that would work best.

      In my opinion, the server logic needed here, in order to handle
      and distinguish metalink/non-metalink requests is minimal, and can be
      implemented by pure mod_rewrite magic, and doesn't require a script, or
      a content generator which creates "special" content. The metalink files
      that it redirects to can simply be on-disk. (Or of course they can still
      be created on the fly.)

      Does that make sense?

      I believe that such support to transparent negotiate metalink handling
      will be a big leap forward for metalinks!

    • Ant Bryan

      Ant Bryan - 2008-04-18

      metalink checker (python) is the first client to work w/ digital signatures (if gnupg is installed).

      curl is the only project that provides metalinks w/ signatures:

      will this be common enough in metalinks to be useful? it's definitely a niche thing but could be a good step towards better usability for an important security practice.

    • Ant Bryan

      Ant Bryan - 2008-04-19

      "Because of Metalink's wide variety of features, it might be useful to name certain sets of features."

      just some ideas. either way, aria2 comes out on top!

    • Ant Bryan

      Ant Bryan - 2008-04-20
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