Make Ubuntu desktop a better platform for App Developers

Oliver Grawert ogra at
Tue Apr 9 09:38:26 UTC 2013

Am Dienstag, den 09.04.2013, 12:01 +0800 schrieb Ma Xiaojun:
> ( Already posted in ubuntu-app-devel, I'm not sure how popular it is,
> though. Sorry for people receiving duplicates. )
> As I checked:
> Proprietary apps get packaging service from Canonical, so far so good.
> But for open source apps, the authors have to provide a working PPA.
> Let's assume the App is written in C/GTK+ or C++/gtkmm since
> * These should be popular options
> * Python/PyGObject is covered by Quickly
> So how to develop the the app?
> 1. Use whatever text editor and use Autotools as the build system,
> maintain autofoo manually.
> 2. Use Anjuta; Autotools is wrapped by Aujuta
> 3. Use IDEs like Eclipse CDT, Code::Blocks but the build system is different.
with unity next entering the desktop the default toolkit will be Qt and
the promoted IDE (as it already is for ubuntu touch) will be QtCreator

I would assume with Mir and unity next entering the desktop in 13.10 the
desktop developer focus will shift a little wrt toolkits ...

> We should take great care of third option since Android, iOS, Windows
> development all happen in IDEs.
> Let's forget about the issue whether Eclipse CDT/Code::Blocks has good
> support for GTK+/gtkmm.
> Say the app works on the developer's local machine now, how to package it?
> Well, one can check Debian New Maintainers' Guide but it is painful to
> read and it aims at a different audience.
> Autotools should be better supported by whatever packaging helper
> tools, but I don't know any documentation on how to make Autotools
> built app /opt friendly.
> How to package an app built by custom build system can be more painful.
> ######
> Actually I find that binary packing seem to be much less painful,
> there is nothing superfluous in binary packaging.
> But binary packaging works better for proprietary apps, since source
> code is not available anyway.
> For open source apps, we need to make sure that the source code does
> produce the binary, right?
> To solve the issue for open source apps, either Canonical accept
> source code of open source apps and help packaging also.
> Another way is that open source apps can be submitted binary only,
> given a way of obtaining source is given. The source can be fake but
> there doesn't seem to be a good motivation to do so. And all people
> including users should be welcomed to report apps that are fake open
> source.
for mobile apps created with the new ubuntu-sdk there will be very
likely some packaging mechanism included (yet to be worked out by the
platform team, it could be dpkg but also something else that works per
user (or even a mix of this)) i would expect some discussion to start
soon on ubuntu-devel or so. this is a bigger issue than just "how do we
make devs package their apps" since in the converged world there will
likely have to be newly invented mechanisms. after all there should be
something included in the ubuntu-sdk that will just have a "create
package" button in the end so that the developer doesnt get bothered
with details at all ..

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