Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

When a developer creates a new application, he must start writing it very early in the Ubuntu development stages to be able to get his application in the official Ubuntu repositories (Universe) or else the only way he can provide that application to the current Ubuntu release is through a PPA - which is not easy discoverable by the users.

But Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat wants to change the game: according to the whiteboard of the "Implementation of delivering apps post-release" blueprint, a new Ubuntu repository "extras.ubuntu.com" will be created and new applications will be uploaded to this repository even for the already released Ubuntu versions. The new applications will have to be approved by the Application Review Board.

This will only be applicable to applications that are not dependencies for other applications and not for content, documentation, media or developer tools and libraries.

Ubuntu Software Center will get a section especially designed for this, called "What's New" so these application will become easily discoverable. The new "extras.ubuntu.com" repository is planned to be added to the default sources.list starting with Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat Alpha 3 along with a prototype UI in the Ubuntu Software Center.

There are quite a few advantages for the new post-release repository: for users: proper packaging - less likely to break applications, no malicious code risks, easier to discover new applications through the Ubuntu Software Center; for developers: they don't have to release their applications in time for the Ubuntu development which could mean less bugs, more attention to details and so on.

What's not clear - at least for me - is rather the new extras.ubuntu.com repository will include exclusively new applications (with no existing version in the Ubuntu repositories) or if it will also include applications updates. But more details should become available really soon.

The "New applications" mystery has been cleared by Rick Spencer (thank you!) in a below:

As the blueprint author, I can clear up the ambiguity. I apologize for the lack of clarity. It will be cleared up as we document the process.

To be clear, this blueprint covers delivering *new* apps into a current release only. By "new", these are apps that are not in a Main or Universe when a version ships. It does not make Ubuntu a rolling release. You will not be able to get the latest versions of apps like Firefox, Open Office, etc... from this method. You will still need to get latest versions of those apps from their respective PPAs or upstream sources.

What do you think of this new approach towards new applications starting with Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat?