Last 3 versions is insufficient. Latest ≠ greatest. Stop supporting designed obsolescence!

Several issues here:

On the website, the listing for an app never shows more versions than the last 3 versions. Why only 3? Is that a server storage space issue?

The 3 most recent versions are /not/ the most interesting versions. For example, Wire app version 3.53 was the last version that functions on AOS 5 & AOS 6. As the Wire project tries to force large numbers of people to throw away perfectly good hardware and buy new phones, version 3.53 is the most important version to preserve because it works for more users than any other version. This version is lost. There is no APK file for it. Since the latest version is always available on the Wire website, it’s actually less important than version 3.53 which is not served from anywhere. Wire has DoSd users running version 3.38. So those users are forced to upgrade. Yet 3.53 is unavailable, so the users are effectively denied access.

And worse, even if users give in to pressure & run out and buy a new phone, this is apparently the UX:

F-Droid should at least keep the latest app versions /for every AOS version/. The repo needs to get smarter about which versions are important.

This problem exacerbates a bug in the f-droid app. When searching for “Wire”, the app finds nothing because no versions kept in the repo are suitable. So search results leave the user hanging. We have to manually browse through many irrelevant hits. Wire should still appear in the search results but there should be an indicator to inform the user that no compatible versions are available. It would be useful as well if the user is informed about the last known compatible version so at least they know which version to look for out in the wild.

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Enable Archive repo


I don’t follow. Perhaps I need a walkthrough. Suppose I am on this page:

How can I get version 3.53?

open F-Droid Client → Settings → Manage Repos → Enable Archive → wait for update → do your thing


I have no “Manage Repos” option in settings. There is a “repositories” option but that’s just a list of repos.

I also tried updating f-droid. It downloaded a new version but installation failed with some error about version mismatching.

(edit) exact error msg:

“Error installing F-Droid
Parsing apk file failed!Maybe minSdk of apk is lower than current Sdk?
Look into logcat for more specific warnings of Android’s PackageParser”

So I found “F-Droid Classic” & installed that in parallel. It also lacks a Settings → Manage Repos option.

Right, enable the repo named Archive

Yes, whatever is that called, enable the Archive repo and see older versions…

Ah, thanks. I have added the archive now. But it makes little difference. Wire appears in search results, but is flagged as “incompatible”. When I list versions, there is only 3.38.826. The most important version that would work on the most devices (3.53) is missing from the versions list.

Maybe you have noticed how large the index of the Archive repo is. More versions means larger index.

Some older versions were removed due to them being built from non-FOSS libs: Run `scan-binary` on a full repo/archive mirror (#1004) · Issues · F-Droid / fdroidserver · GitLab

I was going to suggest you go to Wire’s github to get the apk but I noticed it is not provided, only source. Version 3.76.2 seems to be the oldest offered.
I figure building 3.53 is not an option(?).

By the by, the wire-android/issues/ no longer exists. Now it’s all about wire-android-reloaded.

If you really need 3.53 it can be downloaded from softpedia. Downloaded and checked out, but did not run. Seems clean but you never know.

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