In Belgium at the last Ubuntu Developer Summit, we had a fantastic set of discussions about how we could create a process that empowers application developers to bring their applications into the Ubuntu Software Center much easier. Today our developer and packaging processes are more designed for a contributor who wishes to contribute to the Ubuntu Platform as opposed to an application developer who wants to get exposure for her specific application in Ubuntu. As such, if you are an application developer and want to get your app in the software center, the process is probably too complex and involved.
We identified this disconnect at UDS and Rick Spencer and I proposed a process in which application developers can propose an application for approval by a community-driven review board, and when approval is granted their application will appear in the Ubuntu Software Center. This review board will assess the application for technical merit, packaging quality, perform a code review and ensure it is safe.
Since UDS I have been working on a proposed process (which you can read here) and first engaged in a series of discussions with some community members and then proposed the process to the Ubuntu Technical Board (Matt Zimmerman, Colin Watson, Kees Cook, Mark Shuttleworth, and Martin Pitt); our governance body that discusses and evaluates technical policy in the Ubuntu project. I am pleased to report that after a series of modifications and clarifications, the Ubuntu Technical Board have approved the process.
It is important to stress, and I know the Technical Board would like to ensure this is clearly communicated too, that this process is very much a first cut. While a mature and well-discussed process, we fully expect it to refine and change, and at the next Ubuntu Developer Summit we plan on reviewing the process and improving how it works.
Finding Our Application Review Board
With the process approved, the goal now is to find members to join the new Application Review Board. We are going to be looking for 5 – 7 members who exhibit the following skills:
- Strong technical experience.
- Strong experience of the Ubuntu platform and the desktop.
- Knowledge of packaging to effectively assess other people’s packaging work for quality.
- Enough free time to commit to reviewing the applications and providing timely feedback.
As a bonus:
- You would be a core-dev or MOTU.
- A knowledge of programming, so as to perform a code review.
Anyone and everyone who satisfies the above criteria is welcome to apply. There are no specific requirements for location; you can be based anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in applying, head to this page and follow the instructions. The Ubuntu Technical Board will ultimately assess the applications and decide who the final board will be. For full details of the expectations of a position on the board, read the codified charter.
The deadline for applications is 31st August 2010.