TWIF 42: The Packaging Marathon Edition

This Week In F-Droid 42, Week 6, 2019

In this edition: Help needed with Debian Android Tools and Requests for Packaging marathon. There are 45 new and 98 updated apps.

F-Droid is a repository of verified free and open source Android apps, a client to access it, as well as a whole “app store kit”, providing all the tools needed to set up and run an app store. It is a community-run free software project developed by a wide range of contributors. This is their story this past week.

Help needed with Debian Android Tools

As you might know, we are trying to get the Debian Android Tools into Debian, so it becomes possible to build Android apps using only free and open source software from Debian. There are two key packages from the Debian Android Tools suite that are currently not going to make it into the new Debian Buster release. But with your help, this could still change! Read on for details…

The core of the problem is that Buster is using Java 11, and the Android AOSP code base still uses Java 8 and, only in some cases, Java 9. As far as @_hc can tell, just rebuilding the current Stretch package or updating will have more or less the same problems there.

So far, apo of the Java Team, seamlik of the Java/Android teams, and @_hc have all tried quite a bit to get something working. Now they are banging their heads against details in Java builds that none of them have ever dealt with before. So we’re putting out a call for help to find someone with this knowledge. Right now, it seems we need to figure out the new Java 9 “modules”, specifically using the --patch-module= flag to javac and java.

This issue is urgent as the soft freeze starts Tuesday the 12th of February. Any packages not in Testing by Monday will not make it into Buster!

For more information, including contact information, please see https://lists.debian.org/debian-java/2019/01/msg00052.html.

Requests for Packaging marathon

Requests for Packaging is our submission queue for new apps to be added to F-Droid’s main repository. This week, @Izzy, @Rudloff, @Licaon_Kter and @Relan have been going through old issues, spearheaded by @Izzy’s triaging work. As a result, they closed nearly 40% of all open issues, and we have a whopping 45 new apps to show for it! 24 of these were added in a single day!

New apps

Updated apps

In total, 98 apps were updated this week. Here are the highlights:

  • Scarlet Notes FD was updated from 5.9.7 to 6.6.3 with a new UI, a new search bar, the ability to sync externally with folder, and many other changes and stability improvements.

  • EteSync was updated from 1.0.1 to 1.0.4 with improved import of contact groups, updated event invitation signature, minor UI improvements, some color fixes, and stability improvements.

  • Red Moon was updated from 3.3.2 to 3.4.0, adding preliminary support for Android 8+ devices, also adding support for Android versions going back to 4.0 (previously 4.2), more intuitive behavior when saving filters with the same name, new changelog format, a zillion translation updates, and some bug fixes.

  • miniVector was updated from 0.8.21 to 0.8.22b, with an extra fix for the blank screen bug on Android 4.x devices. For other changes, see Riot below.

  • Forecastie was updated from 1.7.2 to 1.9.1, adding an adaptive icon, a dialog when searching for a location when there are multiple results, and changed OWM logic to use cityid instead of city.

  • Easy xkcd was updated from 6.1.2 to 7.3, with new transitions when entering and leaving overview mode, an AMOLED night theme, dividers in the overflow menu, complete rewrite of the app’s database, a new fullscreen mode that is toggled by tapping a comic, manual download for missing comics, and some smaller UI improvements and bug fixes.

  • Major MusicPiped was updated from 0.2.3-beta to 1.0.2 and has been completely rewritten in flutter with a completely revamped UI and functionality.

  • Mastalab now goes through life as Fedilab with accompanying new logo! This update from 1.70.0 to 1.72.0 adds GNU Social support, a split notification timeline, expand all CW in a thread with a single click, an upload button for Peertube, a quick button to delete toots for Pleroma admins and moderators, and some smaller improvements and bug fixes.

  • Fennec F-Droid was updated from 64.0.2 to 65.0, with improved performance, support for the WebP image format, and enhanced security via stronger stack smashing protection. Also, a new icon. (Changed by Mozilla, not us.)

Beta updates

The following updates won’t be automatically suggested to you unless you have “Unstable updates” enabled in the F-Droid app settings, but you can expand the “Versions” tab and install them manually. Note that these are marked beta for a reason: proceed at your own risk.

  • Riot.im was updated from 0.8.21 to 0.8.22. Note that this version was not released to the Play Store, and should be considered beta quality. It has an annoying display bug on Android 4.x devices. This version brings an all-new key backup and recovery UI, refreshed themes and a new icon, support for split-screen, autofocus when taking a picture, reorganized notification settings, and many bug fixes.

Tips and Feedback

Do you have important app updates we should write about? Send in your tips via Mastodon! Send them to and remember to tag with . Or use the on the forum. The deadline to the next TWIF is Thursday 12:00 UTC.

General feedback can also be sent via Mastodon, or, if you’d like to have a live chat, you can find us in #fdroid on Freenode, on Matrix via or on Telegram. All of these spaces are bridged together, so the choice is yours. You can also join us on the forum.