Packaging and Distributing Your Assistant

Note: this functionality is under heavy development and is not fully implemented yet.

So now you know how to create an Assistant. But what if you want to share your Assistant with others?

For that you could send them all the files from your Assistant and tell them where they belong. But that would be very unpleasant and that’s why we’ve invented DAP. DAP is a format of extension for DevAssistant that contains custom Assistants. It means DevAssistant Package.

A DAP is a tar.gz archive with .dap extension. The name of a DAP is always <package_name>-<version>.dap - i.e. foo-0.0.1.dap.

Directory structure of a DAP

The directory structure of a DAP copies the structure of ~/.devassistant or /usr/share/devassistant folder. The only difference is, that it can only contain Assistants, files and icons that that belongs to it’s namespace.

Each DAP has an unique name (lat’s say foo) and it can only contain Assistants foo or foo/*. Therefore, the directory structure looks like this:


Note several things:

  • Each of this is optional, i.e. you don’t create files or snippets folder if you provide no files or snippets. Only mandatory thing is meta.yaml (see below).
  • Everything goes to the particular folder, just like you’ve learned in the chapter about creating Assistants. However, you can only add stuff named as your DAP (means either a folder or a file with a particular extension). If you have more levels of Assistants, such as crt/foo/bar/spam.yaml, you have to include top-level Assistants (in this case both crt/foo.yaml and crt/foo/bar.yaml). And you have to preserve the structure in other folders as well (i.e. no icons/crt/foo/spam.svg but icons/crt/foo/bar/spam.svg).
  • The top level folder is named <package_name>-<version>.

meta.yaml explained

There is an important file called meta.yaml in every DAP. It contains mandatory information about the DAP as well as additional optional metadata. Let’s see an explained example:

package_name: foo # required
version: 0.0.1 # required
license: GPLv2 # required
authors: [Bohuslav Kabrda <>, ...] # required
homepage: # optional
summary: Some brief one line text # required
bugreports: <a single URL or email address> # optional
  # for now, dependencies are possible, but the version specifiers are ignored
  - bar
  - eggs >= 1.0
  - spam== 0.1     # as you can see, spaces are optional
  - ook   <    2.5 # and more can be added, however, don't use tabs
supported_platforms: [fedora, darwin] # optional
description: |
    Some not-so-brief optional text.
    It can be split to multiple lines.

    BTW you can use **Markdown**.
  • package name can contain lowercase letters (ASCII only), numbers, underscore and dash (while it can only start and end with a letter or digit), it has to be unique, several names are reserved by DevAssistant itself (e.g. python, ruby)
  • version follows this scheme: <num>[.<num>]*[dev|a|b], where 1.0.5 < 1.1dev < 1.1a < 1.1b < 1.1
  • license is specified via license tag used in Fedora
  • authors is a list of authors with their e-mail addresses (_at_ can be used instead of @)
  • homepage is an URL to existing webpage that describes the DAP or contains the code (such as in example), only http(s) or ftp is allowed, no IP addresses
  • summary and description are self-descriptive in the given example
  • bugreports defines where the user should report bugs, it can be either an URL (issue tracker) or an e-mail address (mailing list or personal)
  • dependencies specifies other DAPs this one needs to run - either non-versioned or versioned, optional; note, that versions are ignored for now, they’ll start working in one of the future DevAssistant releases
  • supported_platforms optionally lists all platforms (Linux distributions etc.), that this DAP is known to work on. When missing or empty, all platforms are considered supported. You can choose from the following options: arch, centos, debian, fedora, gentoo, mageia, mandrake, mandriva, redhat, rocks, slackware, suse, turbolinux, unitedlinux, yellowdog and darwin (for Mac OS).

Assistant for creating Assistants packages

There is a DevAssistant package containing set of Assistants that help you create this quite complicated directory structure and package your DAP. It’s called dap and you can get it form DAPI.

# install dap from DAPI
$ da pkg install dap

# observe available options
$ da create dap --help

# create DAP directory structure named foo with (empty) create and tweak Assistants
$ da create dap -n foo --crt --twk

# you can also tweak your DAP directory structure a bit by adding Assistants of different kind

# observe available options
$ da tweak dap add -h

# add a snippet
$ da tweak dap add --snippet

# once ready, you can also pack you Assistant
$ da tweak dap pack

# as well as check if DevAssistant thinks your package is sane
$ da pkg lint foo-0.0.1.dap

Uploading your DAP to DevAssistant Package Index

Once the package is finished (you have run all the steps from the previous chapter - that means you have a DAP file which passes the linting without errors), you can share your DAP on DAPI (DevAssistant Package Index).

To do that, log into DAPI with your Github or Fedora account, and click Upload a DAP link in the top menu. There you will find legal information about what you may (and may not) upload and an upload field, where you select the *.dap file on your machine. After that, just click Upload, and the server will take care of the rest.

To update your package later, simply increase the version in meta.yaml, re-run da tweak dap pack and da pkg lint foo-0.0.2.dap, and upload it to DAPI just the same. The server will understand it’s an update and will act accordingly.

Uploading from command line

If you’d prefer to upload your package via command line, you can use extra Assistant from the dap DAP mentioned before:

# assuming you dap is packaged in foo-0.0.1.dap
$ da extra dap upload -d foo-0.0.1.dap
By uploading the DAP, you agree to the DAPI Terms of Use (
Have you read the DAPI Terms of Use and do you agree with them? [y/n]
INFO: foo-0.0.1.dap successfully uploaded

When you do this for the first time, you will be prompted for your authorization token. To obtain it, log into DAPI with your Github or Fedora account, click on your username in the top menu and select View profile. Get the token on the bottom of your profile page.

Once you provide the token, it is saved to devassistant.dapi.token git global configuration. If you ever want to unset it, just run:

$ git config --global --unset  devassistant.dapi.token

Uploading from GitHub with Travis CI

It is also possible to upload your DAPs directly from GitHub using Travis CI . Unfortunately you cannot do it via the deploy statement, because DAPI is not yet supported there. But you can still do it with after_success. Here is an example .travis.yml that will upload your DAP to DAPI on tagged commits only:

language: python # Use python here so you can install DevAssistant easily
- '3.4' # Just one version is required, 3.4 is the latest
- pip install devassistant
- sudo apt-get install realpath # needed by the packing assistant
- da pkg install dap
- da twk dap pack
- da pkg lint *.dap

# Upload to DAPI on tagged commits from owner/dap-foo
# By using --agree-with-terms, you express agreement with
- if [ -n "$TRAVIS_TAG" ] && [ "$TRAVIS_PULL_REQUEST" == "false" ] &&
     [ "$TRAVIS_REPO_SLUG" == "owner/dap-foo" ] && [ -n "$DAPI_TOKEN" ]; then
      git config --global devassistant.dapi.token $DAPI_TOKEN;
      da extra dap upload -d *.dap --agree-with-terms;

# This was generated by: travis encrypt DAPI_TOKEN=xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx --add
    secure: dCacnOhnVEckP7m9Mg8+0WyxH3c7mvQjgxQlhxivBEtbxs/t5RhRzwg8Divicq49QPM0mgQPP50fdBIt3XLJrmxq4VU4SWVqKDgo1m7LMrT2fuNs6kk5fqENojf+PFHmNgL0hnXciuY7ht9Az5f1bWL+A6+/rQu4SCCw35yvGnA=

If you need help with setting up Travis CI, continue to the Travis CI Documentation.