Questions About the Following Group of Packages

Nick Barendt nickbarendt at gmail.com
Mon Nov 7 01:37:10 UTC 2011


On Nov 6, 2011, at 7:43 PM, Allison Randal <allison at canonical.com> wrote:

>
>
> On 11/06/2011 04:12 PM, Nathan Osman wrote:
>> Stefano Palazzo <https://launchpad.net/~stefano-palazzo> has written a
>> Unity lens for the Ask Ubuntu website <http://askubuntu.com> that offers
>> users the ability to search for questions, users, and tags on the site
>> using the Unity interface. The lens originally made use of Ask Ubuntu's
>> API to perform the question searches but the API was too latent for
>> search-as-you-type and so another solution was sought - the solution was
>> to use the site's quarterly data dumps
>> <http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/09/creative-commons-data-dump-sep-11/>
>> to generate a special index file and for me to write a small HTTP server
>> that used the index file to perform the searches. This drastically
>> reduced search times (down to the order of a few milliseconds) and now I
>> have created a local server that can be installed on the user's machine
>> to further speed up the searches.
>>
>> The branch for the lens
>> <https://code.launchpad.net/~stefano-palazzo/askubuntu-lens/trunk> in
>> Launchpad contains Debian packaging and I have carefully packaged the
>> other components necessary for running the local data server on a user's
>> machine. All of the packages I have written run cleanly through Lintian
>> (with one exception, which I will get to in a minute). We (Stefano and
>> I) are hoping to submit the packages either to the archives or the
>> Software Center - but therein lies the problem.
>>
>> According to the guidelines for submission
>> <http://developer.ubuntu.com/publish/my-apps-packages/> to the Software
>> Center, package data and binaries should be placed in /opt. This
>> presents a challenge for some of the packages which require files to be
>> in other places (such as init.d scripts and Python modules). I have
>> created a Google Document
>> <https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uOiMNR9IkbItaJS2HwrCcWQdCUdNgeR4B_0_fnytU2Y/edit>
>> which explains the various components of the packages and the locations
>> in the filesystem that are used. You can find all of these packages in
>> this PPA <https://launchpad.net/~askubuntu-tools/+archive/ppa>. Because
>> an init.d script is useless anywhere else in the filesystem, it needs to
>> be placed in a specific folder. Likewise, some of the packages contain
>> compiled binaries and executable scripts that need to be placed in a
>> location contained in the $PATH environment variable. How can these
>> conditions be met if the files are in /opt?
>
> Saying "Software Center" is a little confusing here, since Software
> Center actually includes the main and universe archives. I figure you
> mean submitting through http://myapps.developer.ubuntu.com to appear in
> the extras archive.
>
> The key piece here is that MyApps submissions for extras should be
> lightweight GUI apps. If you have an architecture like this where the
> package includes .so shared libraries and an HTTP daemon, it's a good
> sign that it belongs in universe or main instead of in extras.
> Specifically, init.d files aren't allowed in extras packages. The only
> discoverable binaries/executables allowed are the ones loaded from the
> .desktop file. You can include additional command-line tools, you just
> can't get them in the $PATH. (This is a security policy, extras apps are
> locked-down quite heavily.)

Having a not entirely dissimilar situation (daemon, config file in
/etc, etc.), I have been struggling to determine if my commercial
(non-open source) application can be sold through the Software Center.
  Somehow I missed the idea that submissions should be "lightweight
GUI apps".  Is that the goal of the Software Center?  Is there any way
to sell a commercial, server-oriented (CLI only) package through the
Software Center?  Just trying to understand.  Any pointers to
documentation clarifying this would be greatly appreciated.

Nick


>
> Python modules aren't a problem in /opt, you just have to add the
> application-specific /opt/extras.ubuntu.com/appname/lib/... path to
> sys.path in the application's Python programs.
>
>
> So, I'd recommend submitting the new and improved Ask Ubuntu Lens to
> universe or main for Precise, and once it's accepted there, request a
> Backport for Oneiric.
>
> Allison
>
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