Ubuntu Software Store: What it does, and how you can help

Matthew Paul Thomas mpt at canonical.com
Thu Sep 10 16:14:44 BST 2009

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Dylan McCall wrote on 01/09/09 18:15:
> I'm a bit concerned about using price to distinguish things here. The
> "price: free" thing is flawed, because it furthers the misconception
> that free software is only free in price, when in fact being free in
> price is quite irrelevant. Software with "price: $20" may still be
> free as in libré, which deserves credit! Is "get free software" going
> to display stuff with price == 0.00, or is it going to display
> software that is _free_?

It will display stuff that is free in the sense most computer users
understand it, i.e. free as in zero price. It would be cool if the Store
could also present whether a package had a free or proprietary license,
and if it did, I would specify that it should present free licenses as
"open source" -- not because I particularly like that term, but because
calling them "free" would be unacceptably confusing.

Currently, however, there is no way for the Store to tell whether an
arbitrary package in an arbitrary repository has a free or proprietary
license. debian/copyright isn't machine-readable, and isn't included in
Packages.gz anyway. We can assume that everything in Main (except
Firefox and Thunderbird) has a free license, and that everything on
archive.canonical.com has a proprietary license, but that's about it.

It would be cool if Debian and Ubuntu packagers could work together to
address this in the Packages.gz format.

> Will this thingy be connecting to Launchpad? It would be neat to get
> linked to code, bugs and answers directly from the store :)

We plan to link it to Launchpad in the sense that Launchpad will store
user-submitted suggestions for improved descriptions, categories,
keywords, and screenshots/movies, as well as ratings and reviews (though
these might be submitted directly in the Store rather than in a Web

I don't see what we would gain from linking directly to Launchpad Code,
Bugs, and Answers, though. It would seem to make more sense to link to
Launchpad from the applications themselves, and launchpad-integration
already does this. And Ubuntu has too many bug reports, not too few.

- --
Matthew Paul Thomas
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