Ubuntu Team to Cast a Wider Net for Indie Developers

by Ostatic Staff - Sep. 14, 2011

For some time now, there have been calls for Canonical and the Ubuntu team to find ways to reach out to more useful applications that Ubuntu users can take advantage of. For example, many users lament the fact that applications such as Photoshop are easy for Windows and Mac users to use, while Ubuntu users are boxed out. At the core of this debate is how the Ubuntu team approaches developers, and there are some strong signs that a larger and more diverse community of developers will start to contribute to Ubuntu. 

You may already be familiar with the Ubuntu Developer Portal, which helps developers collaborate on applications that can make a difference for Ubuntu users. Now, though, The VAR Guy reports that the Ubuntu team is working on a new site and new tools that could cast a wider net and coax more independent developers to deliver meaningful applications for the Ubuntu community. 

The VAR Guy cites Canonical employees David Planella and John Oxton as discussing this expansion during a recent session during Ubuntu App Developer Week:

"Oxton showcased different iterations of design proposals for the Ubuntu App Developer Site intended to cater to [independent] programmers. The first version, available at madebymake.com with login “developer” and password “ubuntu,” was superceded by a second sketch designed to make it easier for the site’s users to get directly to the process of building applications. The central resource around which the site is focused is Quickly, a tool that aims to streamline the development of applications on Linux by tying together and simplifying the different parts of the process, from programming to GUI design to packaging."

These efforts hold substantial promise for Ubuntu's app repositories, and while they may not do anything to appease users who wish to use Photoshop on Ubuntu, they could leverage one advantage that Ubuntu and other Linux platforms alread have: diverse sets of unique applications, often created by developers who aren't necessarily focused on the biggest commercial platforms. 

It would be good to see the Ubuntu team step up this effort, and it also seems that a bit more professionalism is called for. For example, the introductory paragraph on the Quickly page is loaded with grammatical errors. Still, Canonical can cast a wider net for more diverse groups of developers focused on the Ubuntu platform, and those of us who regularly use Ubuntu know that the app repositiories could use some advancement.