09 June 2009

Do We Need an Apps Store for GNU/Linux?

Everyone's doing it, so Novell wants to join in:

Novell plans to bring the wealth of open-source software to everyday users through an "open-source apps store".

The vast amount of free software available to open-source users has long been one of the major benefits of switching to a Linux distro such as Ubuntu, or openSUSE. The problem has always been in explaining this to customers reared on a Windows diet.

However, with the growing popularity of Linux on netbooks and the public's familiarity with apps stores on smartphones, Novell believes offering an "open-source apps store" could
solve this problem for vendors. The fruits of this strategy are set to appear in the openSUSE edition of the Moblin OS.

Er, haven't we had an "apps store for GNU/Linux" for ages? Things like Synaptic and KPackage? Do we really need anything more?

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saulgoode said...

Debian has a really sweet site for browsing various applications at http://screenshots.debian.net/packages

Nothing too fancy -- though the site's interface makes impressive use of Javascript -- just the bare essentials: nice screenshots, info on the Debian package, and a link to the upstream project (a courtesy all too often overlooked by some distros' package manager).

glyn moody said...

Thanks - I'd forgotten about that.

Fabrice said...

Sorry, but Synaptic/Rpmdrake/Yum are not really app store like applications.

They are too complex, give to many choice, doesn't guide the user to make a choice, etc ...

I wrote a lengthy blog entry about this : About Apple App Store like GUI for Linux

glyn moody said...

@Fabrice: you're right, of course, and I was being provocative. But my point was also that GNU/Linux has a *similar* functionality, and so is well ahead of other systems.