[ubuntu-uk] Question: where do you find apps?

Alan Pope alan at popey.com
Mon Sep 1 10:08:52 BST 2008

On Sun, Aug 31, 2008 at 09:50:34PM +0100, John Levin wrote:
> A question for you all, one that's been exercising me: where do you find 
> out about applications?

Through blog posts, news articles, twitter and identi.ca feeds most often. 
Recent examples for me include GNOME-Do and Gwibber. I discovered both 
through other peoples blog posts and installed via instructions linked from 

I use liferea as my rss reader of choice, and gwibber (now) as my 
twitter/identi.ca follower of choice.

> Do you read about them on the net or in mags, think it sounds 
> interesting, then look it up in synaptic?

I never use synaptic. As others point out "apt-cache search" is my friend. 
For stuff that's not in the repo, if I know it's hosted on launchpad I'll 
look at the project page there. 

> If you have a particular need (say, cataloguing pdfs), how would you go 
> about finding a suitable app? 

apt-cache search, wiki.ubuntu.com -> search, google search, in that order.

> How would you google, where would you ask?

"catalog PDF Ubuntu", "catalog PDF linux" etc.

> If after searching, you have a large choice of apps, how would you 
> choose between them?

I ask myself..

Is it packaged in Ubuntu (bonus points if it is)?
If not can I get a deb from somewhere which looks sane?
Is it a GNOME app (I dont use KDE)?
Does it integrate with some other app I use all the time?
How many releases have they made, is it up to date or orphaned?
If it's not packaged anywhere, why isn't it? Too new, too old?

> Would you test them all?

Nah, I'd stop when I found one that fulfilled most of my requirements.

> To what sort of depth?

If it's for me alone then so long as it fulfils the basic requirements then 
I'm happy. If it's for someone else then I'll get their requirements and go 
by that.


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