Best practice discussion -gnome-software-center default for unity-session

I didn’t think we were going to discuss Windows, OSX, Android, iOS and compare their values to Ubuntu.

Ubuntu is distro, not a platform.

I use Windows 10 (as certain apps work better in Windows), and I know exactly where an app is installed. Its “dependencies” are not placed all over the system, but in one or two folders. I can move the whole app to another partition and start from there, or keep a link on the desktop to start it.

A Software Shop installs apps, without telling us what the dependencies are–we have to take for granted that whoever put that app in that shop had thought about our safety. Synaptic tells us–the dependencies, where everything is saved, etc. It also tells us how to copy paste files/folders, so apt won’t break it when updating.

And those are security issues and quality control issues so I guess the security team and QA team has their work cut out for them. It’s easy for me to use synaptic and terminal because I have been doing it for years… even in my VAX-UNIX days learning Turing … but a noob is stricken to turn away. For you and I , synaptic is a side-kick.

I do have work installs of 16.04 that do not have synaptic and synaptic has been know to cause breakage also. Unity Software Center works just swell in 16.04.

That’s an expert level feature the vast majority of users do not care about. I think this discussion is done, we’re coming from different perspectives here. I’m looking at it from the “users who already use unity” point of view and you’re looking at it from the expert level debian user point of view.

Synaptic is great app. But it is not what we are discussing here. The big issue with the new Gnome is the CSD and headerbars. And that is the point of replacing gnome apps with Mate apps. Regarding Rhytmbox. Yes it is out of place. I personaly prefer clemwntine or audacious. But this can be diacussed at a later time. I think that it is time for the roadmap to be setup.
I will give a proposal:

  1. Adding notify-osd, zeitgeist and gtk3nocsd to the default unity iso.
  2. Replacing most or all gnome apps with mate alternatives to avoid the battle with CSD amd fat headerbars.
  3. Adding some famous indicators to tje default iso. For example indicator-notifications will add the missing feature of notification history. Imdicator-systemtray-unity will make some apps like orage to be usable uned Unity.
  4. Replacing or adding other apps to the default iso.
    3 and 4 must be deleyed for 18.10 if unity will become an official flavor.

Notify-osd and zeitgeist are already default in ubuntu-unity-meta. Ubuntu is forwarding many headerbar related patches to upstream and few of them has been accepted. So for 18.04 LTS, Ubuntu may keep those patches. But yes gtk3-nocsd will be a nice addition.

There are also x-apps from Mint. But the point is, mate & other brings many dependencies and mate- prefix. As 18.04 will be a LTS, I am against making too many changes in this cycle.

We can do that in this cycle, regardless of official status.

The Ubuntu MATE community has had this discussion several times. I’ve never shipped Synaptic by default and here’s why:

  • It is a power user tool. Power users already know it exists and how to install it.
  • Synaptic is bewildering to users familiar with the App Store paradigm where they just search for software and install it. Why does anyone running Android or iOS care what the app dependencies are? Users just want to know if the app is any good and install it.

We created Ubuntu MATE Welcome and the Software Boutique at a time when the Ubuntu Software Center was default. We shipped Ubuntu Software Center until Ubuntu MATE Welcome was a viable replacement. Ubuntu MATE Welcome and the Software Boutique are now part of our “unique selling point”. It is hard work maintaining and developing software of this nature.

I do not recommend you adopt Ubuntu MATE Welcome or Software Boutique for 18.04. Other distros and flavours have expressed interest in doing the same and right now we are decoupling the Software Boutique from Welcome and will add the ability to “white label” it. Until that exists, both are hardcoded for Ubuntu MATE.

You can ship gdebi for people who download debs, it works well and it was updated to support PolicyKit during 17.10. You’ll also need to update your default mime types via defaults.list to make it the default handler for .debs

There are several advantages to GNOME Software, and Software Boutique needs to catch up in a couple of regards.

  • It is seeing significant development both upstream and by Canonical, which will ease your support burden. And trust me, be prepared for the support overload and look for ways to mitigate that as much as possible early on.
  • GNOME Software via the Ubuntu Software meta package is tightly integrated into the Ubuntu platform.
  • Software can be installed from the archive and bundled apps such as Snap and FlatPak.
  • GNOME Software supports bios and firmware updates, and this is quite simply brilliant IMO.

I agree with @popey and his comments about retaining the well understood Ubuntu Unity experience, to some extent. I think you should evaluate what direction you want to take the project in and gather feedback from your user community about what they’d like to see.

But, don’t make drastic changes upfront for your first release. You’ve got a lot of work ahead of you to stitch this new flavour together. You are effectively inheriting a working OS, your focus should be on re-delivering that OS.

I feel you’re putting the cart before the horse a bit. First order of business is get your seeds and meta packages in order. Get Ubuntu Unity in the official build infrastructure. Make sure your developers apply (and get) Per Package Upload rights.

Decisions about themes, software centers and default apps (while extremely good fun) should wait until you’ve got the flavour building :slight_smile:

The fewer things you change for 18.04 the easier it will be for you. This is a lesson learned from Ubuntu MATE. Our first two releases were really about getting the platform defined, we didn’t focus on carving out features that gave Ubuntu MATE it’s character until 15.10.

Do not misconstrue my comments as pouring water on your enthusiasm. I’m very excited about this project and really want to see it succeed. So my comments are offered in an effort to assist your success :grinning:


Great to see that you are making an effort to decouple software boutique so that same code can used everywhere. :slight_smile:

Yes. I was also thinking about the same.



I believe the original post in this thread was about whether to use GNOME Software or Ubuntu Software branding. It’s the same app; it just has a different icon and name. In my opinion, you would obviously want the Ubuntu Software branding.

As Khurshid pointed out, the bug for this issue is LP: #1731296.