[ubuntu-uk] Issues packaging software

Gareth France gareth.france at cliftonts.co.uk
Mon Apr 27 13:25:09 UTC 2015

> This is a good place to start. I've been through this tutorial,
> written by someone else, and it worked. It really clearly steps
> through every bit of the process. It's good for QML applications which
> are mobile focussed, less good for "legacy" type desktop applications
> though.

My program needs to be desktop, it needs to interface with external kit 
via usb.

> Also worth looking at simple tools like tkinter or wxPython or to make
> graphical Python apps. Building up to other toolkits afterwards.

My program is built in perl at present. Ideally I'd rather not have to 
start from scratch again if I can help it.
> Debian packaging is not straightforward. This is one reason why we
> developed click and then snappy packaging, which will debut in the
> 15.10/16.04 timeframe. That makes it very much easier to package up
> applications.

The click packages interest me. Once fully implemented will it be 
possible to publish command line apps this way?

> Well, there's going to have to be some research and learning on your
> part too. Just throwing your hands in the air and saying "this is
> broken" is somewhat defeatist.

I wouldn't say I'm doing that but there is an issue with being 
experienced and talking to someone who hasn't even started. It is 
difficult to know which of the things you know like the back of your 
hand are just alien to others. For instance the packaging guide mentions 
licenses and uses GPL as an example but doesn't tell you what the other 
options are or where you can go to explore them. It mentions files, 
tells you what to put in them but leaves you unsure of the file name or 

The file structure required for packaging is not mentioned at all and I 
didn't see it talking about compressing the files either, but I know 
that's a must.

When the help files do not help, turning to others and saying it seems 
to be impossible is not just throwing your hands up and being defeatist. 
I know this is possible and I want to do it, my program is about as 
simple as they come so I don't think it's too much to ask that I put it 
to good use.

I have seen campaigns encouraging those with no programming experience 
to code for Ubuntu, so the process needs to be straightforward enough, 
and documented well enough, for such people to do so. At present it's 
not, or I would have managed it with far less effort and aggro than this.

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