brainstorming for UDS-N - Application Developers

Stéphane Graber stgraber at
Wed Sep 29 02:42:28 BST 2010

On Tue, 2010-09-28 at 21:35 -0400, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> On Tuesday, September 28, 2010 05:31:26 pm Rick Spencer wrote:
> > We want to empower, engage and harness application developers to develop
> > on and for Ubuntu. These sessions cover the many elements in achieving
> > that goal.
> > 
> > What's high on your list for this area?
> > 
> > There are some existing conversations and threads that people should
> > feel free to comment on in addition to any new areas:
> > * Changes to the implementation of the New Apps on stable releases
> > (suggestions have included changing the system to use backports as an
> > avenue onto a stable release, for example).
> > * Changes to the Application Review Board process (including, for
> > example, eliminating it and replacing it with a streamlined backports
> > process).
> > * Enhancement, changes to tools such as Glade, Gedit, etc...
> > * Anything about Quickly and/or Quickly Widgets, including new
> > templates, improvements to the existing template, new widgets, etc...
> > * Information Architecture for application developers, including a
> > developers manual, etc...
> > 
> > Cheers, Rick
> If we are going to meet the goal of really streamlining the process for 
> developers to get their applications in front of users, then we need to change 
> what it is that is delivering the application.  I don't think that a 
> traditional Debian package is going to be able to support a truly lightweight 
> process.
> If we are going to engage in radical disintermediation in application 
> delivery, then we need a structure in place that makes it feasible for end 
> users to make reasonable decisions about installation and use of applications 
> that don't have the "Ubuntu stamp of approval".  Such a system would have a 
> number of characteristics that we don't support:
> 1.  Applications would have to be isolated from the system (including the 
> network), from user data, and from other applications without specific 
> authorization from the user.

Containers can do that, though the implementation is not exactly there
yet. Each of these applications or group of applications could be put in
a container with its own /proc, network card (or no network), limited
access to the filesystem and if wanted, resource restrictions (through

> 2.  Users would have to be able to evaluate applications in the software 
> center based on user feedback (I think it is already planned), what data and 
> system elements the software has access too, and other elements like ratings 
> of other applications from the same developer.
> As we've discussed on ubuntu-devel before, this probably means some type of 
> well engineered sand box system with access restrictions to ensure the 
> application cannot step outside of it's authorized accesses.
> Scott K

Looking forward to talk at UDS.

Stéphane Graber
Ubuntu developer
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