How to represent non-applications in software-center

Registered by Robbie Williamson

How to present packages (as opposed to end-user applications) in software-center. The ratio of application vs package is currently 1 to 10, so if we just dump them into the center it will look much like synaptic (just less powerful) for most of the packages shown. Should we even list all non-applications in software-center? Or should we put them in other areas, e.g. Downloads background and font packages under System->Preferences->Appearance->Backgrounds & Fonts

Blueprint information

Robbie Williamson
Matthew Paul Thomas
Canonical Foundations Team
Series goal:
Accepted for lucid
Milestone target:
milestone icon lucid-alpha-3
Started by
Michael Vogt
Completed by
Robbie Williamson

Related branches



Work items:
[mpt] define where to put non-applications (into "System"): DONE
[mpt] define how the search should behave (extra boost for UI apps? popcon? ratings): DONE
[mvo] add non-apps to the s-c db (use a-x-i): DONE
[mvo] do de-duplication (if a app is shown, do not show the package that it belongs to): DONE
[mvo] ensure the query builder does the right thing when in departements/sub-departements: DONE

Work items for ubuntu-10.04-beta-1:
[mpt] define what sub-categories tech stuff should have and how to map them: DONE
[mpt] define what name tech-stuff should have: DONE
[mvo] add code that injects "tech-stuff" and maps that to the previous "Other" category: DONE
[mvo] add code that injects all *unallocated* packages into tech-stuff (unallocated is very tricky): DONE

Work items for ubuntu-10.04-beta-2:
[mvo] test that on a live-cd a-x-i db and apt lists for universe are created/updated: DONE
[mvo] test that on a fresh install a-x-i db and apt lists for e.g. universe (if missing) are created/updated: POSTPONED
[mvo] ensure db stay fresh on apt-get update (tricky): DONE
[mvo] modify search to match spec behavior: POSTPONED

Work items for ubuntu-10.04:
[mvo] test that on a fresh install a-x-i db and apt lists for e.g. universe (if missing) are created/updated: DONE

Generally very good; the remaining work items are testing and ensuring that it works smoothly. (Deferred a few items due to mvo being off sick.)

Quick suggestion on "define how search should behave" etc from above (and please delete this and accept my apologies if I'm barging in inappropriately). Perhaps this could also help [mvo] and [mpt]: How about letting *all* packages be visible in a list of matching packages. Depending on available screen real estate, perhaps show the top matching applications + button to "See all %d matching applications" and another section for packages + button "See all %d matching software packages". Perhaps top 5 matches for each category, or less, since brains are best around 5 ±2 choices.
Also oldtimers/veterans might be more comfortable with the upcoming switch to s-c if they get an option in there so as to only show the packages category and that way skip all the new stuff with stars and reviews and such when "all then need & want" from Software Center is faster search and startup compared to aptitude This presumes that the stars and stuff is only showed for the "Applications category" that I've perhaps dreamt up. Now back to reading the s-c Wiki page from mpt. :-)

  Your suggestion is roughly in line with what I've specified. <> —mpt


Work Items