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Ubuntu Software Cente

Ubuntu Developers set Roadmap for New Software Store

The Ubuntu developers have set out a roadmap for the new Ubuntu Software Store during a session at the Ubuntu Developer Summit. The current Software Centre in Ubuntu is pretty good and has come a long way since its creation in 2009. It gives users a way to search for new software, read and write reviews, and rate the programs they download. However the Developers seem to doing a significant overhaul of the current system for its inclusion in Ubuntu Touch. The reason for this is to make it more focused on Mobile, have better user experience and to incorporate their mobile packaging format ‘Click’.

in the road map they are working towards adding a few key features:

  • Automatic inspections and reviews.
  • Automatic rejection of non ‘Click’ based packages.
  • Ratings and Comments
  • Malicious software reporting
  • Profiling device capabilities
  • Scope support
  • Web interface to select and install software

There is significant overlap between these features and the current Software Centre, which makes us wonder why they are overhauling the system. There could be a few reasons for this, but what I would suspect is that as they move from Debian package to the ‘Click packages’ system for the packaging of software on Ubuntu Touch it is less effort to write a the new system.

What will be interesting to watch is if they decide to adopt Click packages in the desktop version of Ubuntu and move the new Software Store with them. As they focus more and more on Mobile, such a move may seem only right. Ubuntu has always been a user of Debian packages (.deb), however the new Click packages are touted to have a few benefits over Debian packages. These include: Simplified packaging for the developer, tighter integration with the Ubuntu SDK and the ability to run under confinement. These features seem to be aimed toward reducing barriers of entry for developers, in what one would assume is an attempt to increase the number of apps on Ubuntu touch and increase its adoption. If they catch on it may be an obvious choice for Ubuntu to switch the desktop version to them also. However their move away from Gnome to Unity generated considerable controversy, so a move from Debian packages to their own packaging system would do much the same, as well as entail a considerable amount of work. So they may just stick with Debian packages, we shall see.

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Source: Ubuntu Developer Summit

Andy Hayes

Andy Hayes is a Software Engineer for HP and FOSS enthusiast who lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland


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