With the release of Ubuntu 12.04, there have been many different viewpoints on which parts are the most important features and facilities for our users; Unity, the HUD, application choice etc etc.
Let me show you what I consider to be one of the most important parts of Ubuntu:
The Ubuntu Software Center is the doorway to new applications and experiences for our users.
For many years we have had a wonderful archive that we inherit from Debian and expand and refine pieces of for Ubuntu. The Ubuntu Software Center isn’t just a prettier Synaptic; it is a showcase for awesome Free Software and commercial applications, judged by our users in the ratings and reviews, as well as a delivery mechanism for app developers to sell their apps, books, magazines and other content.
While Free Software developers have been able to deliver their apps via traditional repositories for years, the Ubuntu Software Center offers a unique opportunity for both commercial and Free Software applications to deliver their apps in Ubuntu. get great visibility, and be used by millions of Ubuntu users all around the world.
I have had a theory for a little while now: I think a decent chunk of our users (particularly users of Ubuntu for a long time) haven’t really explored the Ubuntu Software Center and what it has to offer. For those of you who have usually relied on
apt-get on the command-line to install your software, I strongly encourage you to check out the Ubuntu Software Center; as I have continued to use it more and more, I have discovered new applications, have more informed choices (via ratings and reviews), and bought interesting commercial apps. I see the Ubuntu Software Center as a wonderful market place for both Free and Commercial applications that serve our users well.
Recently I have been talking about the importance of application developers in Ubuntu. A big piece of delivering an awesome platform for application developers is ensuring that all paths that lead to the Ubuntu Software Center are smooth, efficient, and enjoyable, and ensuring that the Ubuntu Software Center itself is a pleasurable experience for users, with a wealth of wonderful content to choose from.
I think we are making good progress here. but I wanted to follow up and talk about some of the work we are doing in growing this app developer community in Ubuntu. This is a longish post, but I encourage you to read it as I think it will give you folks a sense for where we are going and ways in which you can help. Everything we are doing here is Open Source; the Ubuntu Software Center, apps.ubuntu.com, Quickly, pkgme and more, and we need your help to continue to move the Ubuntu app developer platform forward.