Software Centre - Policy

Mario Kemper mario.kemper at
Fri Dec 9 13:10:23 UTC 2011

Hi Bhavani,

> >
> > The Ubuntu Software Centre looks similar to other popular App-Stores
> > (Android, iOS et cetera). Hence, users will expect it to behave like
> > those App-Stores, e.g. to automatically receive the latest version of an
> > application that is available through the Ubuntu Software Centre.
> >
> > Obviously this is not the case for applications that are available in
> > the official repos. But, developers that are offering software
> > *exclusively* through the Software Centre are able to offer up-to-date
> > versions whenever they want. This sounds like a disadvantage for me. Am
> > I wrong?
> Normally in the official archives, A newer version of an existing
> package is updated in the latest development cycle which goes on
> except when there is a SRU where in the packages are updated and
> tested in the -proposed component and then pushed to the -updates
> component upon successful testing for updating the package via update
> manager or when there is a security or RC bug fix. Please do correct
> me if m wrong or missed out something

No, you are right. But exactly this is the problem. Every project needs
to align their releases with Ubuntu's release cycle, because new major
versions are only accepted during the current development cycle. Bugfix
releases are accepted later on but this is irrelevant for smaller

As an example, I fix bugs as soon as possible. This means that there are
no specific bugfix releases most of the time. The latest release is the
most stable one (and it includes new features and bugfixes). When you
look at the "modern" rapid release models (e.g. Firefox, Chrome) this is
also true for bigger projects. Or would it be reasonable to keep Chrome
13.X for several years just because the version number 14.X indicates
that it is a new major version. Software development goes fast nowadays
and most of the users are willing to update to new major versions as
soon as they arrive (like it is in most App-Stores).

> >
> > Additionally, please add support for donations to the Software Centre (I
> > know it is already on the list). Currently it is easy for developers (of
> > proprietary software) to sell an application but it is not possible to
> > donate to free software projects (they are not allowed to add a
> > *donation* version to the Software Centre).
> Seems interesting, But many projects do have a make a donation option
> on their websites, and another major point of view is how much is the
> inclination to donate to free software. (Atleast here in India the
> latter points holds good I believe)

True but
a) users have to discover the homepage (and discover the button) 
b) some projects use Paypal, some use Moneybookers et cetera
c) it is matter of trust - if the Software Centre is a trustworthy
platform I would feel more comfortable when donating

> >> If you'd like help making contact with the Debian or Ubuntu packagers
> >> of
> >> an app, we can help you out. Or, if your app was abandoned (the
> >> packaging isn't being updated anymore), we can help you along the path
> >> to becoming the maintainer for your own packaging.
> >>
> > That would be great. My software (Shutter - a screenshot taking
> > application) is heavily out-of-date in Debian and a bit out-of-date in
> > Ubuntu. I would be glad to become responsible for my own package. Any
> > hints are welcome.
> >
> As I see here:
> There is already a new version of the package here:
> with some lintian warnings and a considrable diff (333 insertions)

It was uploaded yesterday. I wasn't aware of it ;-)
So let's see if it gets any attention.

> The package maintainer is Ryan Niebur as seen in the PTS and you can
> get in touch with him. He can help you out with this since he is a
> Debian Developer with address.

I know him and he is not responding since a year or so. See this bug:

Krzysztof Klimonda helped me to get the latest version into Ubuntu and I
asked him to help me out to get it into Debian as well. Ryan Niebur
didn't respond to him as well (@Ryan: In case you read this: this
nothing personal ;-)).

> PS: To get started with packaging in debian/ubuntu the New maintainers
> guide is always helpful

Sure, I already have working packages since a couple of years and I use
PPAs extensively. It is not about the packaging itself - it is about the
process behind the scenes. 


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