Web catalog for the software center

Registered by Anthony Lenton on 2011-04-29

A web service that offers basically the same information as the Ubuntu Software Center, so that users can discover apps through search engines.

Blueprint information

Status:
Not started
Approver:
Jason Warner
Priority:
Undefined
Drafter:
Anthony Lenton
Direction:
Needs approval
Assignee:
Anthony Lenton
Definition:
New
Series goal:
None
Implementation:
Unknown
Milestone target:
None

Related branches

Sprints

Whiteboard

Many users use Google or some other search engine to look for anything and
everything, including available apps for their Ubuntu installation. It would
be great to have a site in place that provides the same information USC shows,
and even allow users to easily install software, so that all apps can be
discovered via web as easily as they are found on the desktop.

There is basic prototype code in place that provides search capabilities
based on the same data USC uses. The idea of this session would be:

 - Show what's there currently
 - Discuss current plans
 - Check seo ideas for better search results
 - Check other ideas for extra awesomness
 - Code sharing between USC/websc

Potential integration with WebLive (similar to what's done in the Software Center) to allow for testing any Ubuntu app without having to install them or even have an Ubuntu system. (http://www.edubuntu.org/weblive/app/libreoffice for example).

winniemiel05 : A great feature would be, for un-translated texts, to ask the user if he wants to translate via google trad (as android market web does)

== UDS discussion ==

Store app configuration

Use web for metadata (capture, edit, consume)
Ratings & reviews (show with similar functionality)
storing of packages , queing for install (multiple machine support)
 - How would you know if package is installed?
 - Allow service for system to inform what packages are installed (not big)
  - (Explore similarities with Landscape? - code reuse? )
   - OneConf - wouldn't be used for this particular implementation although concepts could be reused (MVO)
 - Distro independent so needs to have distro awareness (Natty, Oneiric, etc.)
   - Use the browser tags to identify?
    -
 - WebLive has some logic for ??(determining intsalled size?) (Slow to run ~40 mins) ( http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~weblive-dev/weblive/ltsp-cluster-agent-weblive/view/head:/client/weblive-packagelist.py )
 - Use Gnome icon Theme - app icons
 - Search results should be consistent (Using Xapian on Ubuntu Software Centre because it's fast, may not be as critical on Web search due to web latency. (Better than Django for search.)
Added IS complexity for installation?
Dash is written in C++ and queries SC in C++ itself, which SC itself is written in Python (could this be reused?)
 - Point app developers interested in getting apps into the repository, to developer.ubuntu.com/publish
 - add screenshots to apps from comunity (screenshots.ubuntu.com would help as a datastore)

Where would this service live? How would it sit with existing apt.ubuntu.com redirector?
https://launchpad.net/apturlredirector
- Example: http://apt.marcoceppi.com/p/epiphany
- talk with its developers

 - WebLive link: http://www.edubuntu.org/weblive/app/frozen-bubble

Design
 - Code available on https://code.launchpad.net/ubuntu-webcatalog (AGPL3)

 - Use django light theme https://launchpad.net/ubuntu-website/light-django-theme
 - We should use the Software Centre icons and custom backgrounds for categories.

Action:
 - Look into similarities between "apt.ubuntu.com" and this effort
 - Naming for "apps.ubuntu.com"
- Need to include commercial software in search

Shareable code:
 - Xapian search
 - Parsing code for sca results
 - Desktop file parser
 - menufile xml parser (+ )
 - "package hiding code" from SC (to supress technical packages)
 - Code to query ratings and reviews

(?)

Work Items