Software Centre - Policy

Mario Kemper mario.kemper at
Fri Dec 9 13:39:05 UTC 2011

Hi Michael,

> Thanks for sharing your concern. I think you raise two issues here:
> a) Its hard for a upstream to maintain his/her packages in
> Debian/Ubuntu
> b) Once Debian/Ubuntu release, the package can no longer be updated


> My opinion about (a) is that we (as a distro) should be more inclusive
> for upstreams and give out per-package upload rights more
> easily. I.e. the message should be "we welcome upstreams to work on
> the packaging" And we do in fact, but it seems like we are not sending
> this message strongly enough yet. Having the upstream care about the
> package and looking at the buglist is IMO among the best that can
> happen to a package :)

Good point. The whole process of getting an application into Debian or
Ubuntu is scary for every beginner. Even though it is documented quite
nicely ( it is by
far more complicated than on other platforms.
After going through the painful (but fun) job of developing an
application you have to learn
a) How to create a Debian package
b) What is a repository and what are the differences between all the
different repos (Universe, Multiverse, official Debian)
c) What is MOTU
d) How do I use IRC-channels (also scary for developers that are no
open-source geeks) in order to ask someone to sponsor your package
e) learn the meanings of all the used abbreviations like itp, rfp, wnpp,

I went through the whole process myself a couple of years ago and it was
painful. I can understand people to give up at some point.

The Software Centre (an the MyApps-Concept) looked like a standardized
and easy approach to solve most of those problem.

> As for (b) this is because there is this culture of stability once the
> distro is released. It makes a lot of sense but it does not fit
> everyone (anymore). So I would envision that we actually support both
> stability and features and let the user decide. The policy in the
> distro would not change, packages are stable. But we would allow
> MyApps/ARB/Backports new-versions of the app too and present them in
> software-center as a (opt in) option. There are some challenges with
> this of course, both technically and for the processes we have (like
> ensuring QA on the updated apps) that needs work and discussion. But I
> think its well worth the work. 

Amen. This would be absolutely awesome. I am more than willing to help
if there is anything I could do.

Greetings from Cologne

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