Proposing a New App Developer Upload Process

David Planella david.planella at
Mon Sep 3 17:59:15 UTC 2012

Hi everyone,

As many of you will know, in the last few cycles we've been laying out
the foundations to make Ubuntu a target of choice for app developers. I
am not referring to building the platform here (an area in which we also
keep seeking growth), but rather to enabling app authors to create and
distribute original software, to grow a rich ecosystem of independent
apps for our users.

The resounding success of our latest initiative, the Ubuntu App
Showdown, has not only shown an explosion of high-quality applications
(created in just 3 weeks!), but more importantly, the growing interest
in developing applications for Ubuntu.

As we continue building upon these foundations, we also keep on refining
our processes to identify and improve areas in which we can provide a
better experience for app developers. While doing this, we've been
gathering metrics from different sources –the current queue of apps
pending review and the Showdown results being the main ones. They all
provide clear evidence: the current approach to submit third-party apps
in the Extras repository has already reached the limit in terms of human
review capability and application throughput.

Despite our best intentions and the Ubuntu App Review Board's epic
efforts, we're currently putting a strain on reviewers (who cannot keep
up with the incoming stream of apps) and providing an unsatisfactory
experience for app authors (who have to endure long delays to be able to
upload their apps).

During the course of the last few weeks, after having identified the key
issues and assessed the different options available, Jono Bacon, Michael
Hall and myself have been working to put forward a proposal for a new,
improved app developer upload process. We've been not alone in this
project: we've had the input and help from many others, including the
App Review Board and members of many other Ubuntu and Canonical teams
(Security, Foundations, Desktop, Consumer Apps, just to name a few).

We are now at a point where we consider the spec to be ready for public
review and comment, and we would like to ask for your own contribution
to this process. Ultimately, the goal is to discuss and scope the new
app developer upload process at UDS, but we would like to have a solid
specification to be used in advance as the basis for any UDS sessions
and blueprints. If you'd like to contribute, you can:

* Review the spec at
* Provide any feedback either on the Feedback section (preferred) or
  continue the discussion on this thread.

As the people who create Ubuntu, your input is especially valuable, and
we'd really appreciate it if you could spend some of your time to help
app development in Ubuntu succeed.



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