I’ve blogged three times now, here, here and here, highlighting some of the apps being written with the Ubuntu SDK. Well after covering 44 of them, and more already popping up since yesterday’s article, we’ve decided that we need to start getting these into the Ubuntu Touch Preview images so that people can try them out on supported devices, give the developers real-use feedback and bug reports, and generally promote the amazing work being done by our community of app developers.
So Alan Pope (popey) and I have kicked off what we’re calling the App Collection, which are apps being developed outside of the scope of our Core Apps project, but that we still want to support, promote, and guide through the process of getting them ready for deployment to Ubuntu devices. This means we’re going to commit to helping developers get their apps packaged, and we’re going to be uploading them to a new PPA specifically for these apps.
We’re starting out by collecting a list of known apps, with information about where to find their source code, the status of packaging for the app, and finally whether they are available in the PPA or not. I seeded the list with the apps I’ve been blogging about, but it’s open to anybody who has an app, or knows about an app, to add it to this list.
Apps should be in a usable state before adding them to the list, and should perform a function that might be of interest to a user or tester. Hello World apps are great for learning, but it’s not really something that you want to promote to users.
You don’t have to know about Debian packaging to get your app in our PPA, we’re going to help you bootstrap and debug your package. Our goal is to provide the minimal amount of packaging necessary for your app to be installable, on the desktop or on devices, and work properly. Of course, if you can provide packaging for your app, that will greatly speed up the process of getting it into the PPA.
We would also welcome any help from packagers. Even if you don’t have an app of your own, you can help support the app developer community by spending some time getting their packaging in order. QML apps are relatively simple when it comes to packaging, so a seasoned packaging veteran could probably knock one out in a matter of minutes.
You won’t have to conform to all of the requirements that you will to get into the Ubuntu archives, and there won’t be a lengthy review process. The Apps Collection is offered up for users to evaluate and test Ubuntu Touch and apps written for it, there is no guarantee of stability or security. Generally if it installs and runs, we’ll include it in the PPA. But we’re not crazy, and we won’t be uploading apps that are obviously malware or detrimental to the user or platform.
Preview Image Review
Your app will need to go through a more intense review before being approved to go into the default install of the Ubuntu Touch Preview. You code will be inspected by the engineers responsible for the preview images, to make sure it won’t cause any problems with stability or security that would interfere with the primary goal of the preview images, which is showing off the incredible user experience that Ubuntu provides on touch devices.
Once it’s ready, your app will join the default apps being developed by Canonical, as well as Core Apps being developed by other members of the community in collaboration with Canonical project managers, as part of the demonstration platform for Ubuntu Touch.
This is a great opportunity for you, as a developer, to get your app in the hands of a large number of early adopters. It’s also a great opportunity for us, being able to promote off our platform and how it is being used by the app developer community.