Software Centre - Policy

Michael Vogt mvo at
Fri Dec 9 11:11:32 UTC 2011

On Wed, Dec 07, 2011 at 01:07:31PM +0100, Mario Kemper wrote:
> Hi all,
Hello Mario,
> why is it not allowed to use the Software Centre when your app is already in the official repos?

> This is a clear disadvantage for all free software developers who
> are maintaining "older" projects. It is a pain to keep the packages
> up-to-date in the official repositories. In most cases you are lucky
> if you know the Debian (or Ubuntu) maintainer and he/she is willing
> to respond immediately. In my experience the distribution of a
> software package for Linux distributions is almost as difficult as
> writing the software itself.

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 :)

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.


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