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Novell Linux Business Software

Novell Ponders "Open-Source Apps Store" 183

Posted by timothy
from the return-of-click-n-run dept.
Barence writes "Novell plans to bring the wealth of open-source software to everyday users through an 'open-source apps store.' 'I would compare what's happening on netbooks with what's happening to the smartphone,' Holger Dyroff, vice president of business development at Novell told PC Pro. 'There's a core experience, but then the ability to customise that experience. On the user end, all they'll see is an open-source applications store with one-click downloads of new software. Unlike the other stores though, they won't have to pay for any of those applications, which will be very attractive.'"
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Novell Ponders "Open-Source Apps Store"

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  • So, in other words (Score:5, Insightful)

    by killmenow (184444) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @10:01AM (#28265057)
    Kind of like a repository?
    • by Hyppy (74366) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @10:06AM (#28265115)
      yum install aptitude.

      Yeah, that's basically all I can see this being. Perhaps it will have a nice web portal with reviews, in-depth descriptions, and decent screenshots?
      • by nurb432 (527695) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @10:33AM (#28265491) Homepage Journal

        or pkg_add -r for us BSD folks :)

        But, all joking aside, you cant discount making it easy for the common guy with a simple GUI, non technical descriptions, screen shots, etc etc.

        PCBSD's PBI pages are a good example of how things could work

      • by paazin (719486)

        Yeah, that's basically all I can see this being. Perhaps it will have a nice web portal with reviews, in-depth descriptions, and decent screenshots?

        So kind of like freshmeat?

      • Perhaps it will have a nice web portal with reviews, in-depth descriptions, and decent screenshots?

        In other words, what Windows users found in TuCows [wikipedia.org] in 1993 and Download.com [wikipedia.org] in 1996.

        What MIchael Robertson was saying was absolutely essential to the mainstreaming of the Linux desktop in 2002 when he launched CNR.com. [cnr.com] CNR (sofware) [wikipedia.org]

        The difference is that Robertson was a pragmatist with no interest in the geek's ideological wars over development models and licenses.

        CNR would list - and sell - the proprieta

    • by killmenow (184444) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @10:06AM (#28265123)
      Or an extension to the standard Synaptic-type front end to repositories where you could just click and run an app. What could you call something where you could just click and run any application you might want, I wonder... Hmmmm...I just can't seem to think of anything to name a click and run type of interface to open source repositories.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        What is Sourceforge.net if not an open source app store?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by artemis67 (93453)

          Sourceforge lacks the polish of a true app store. Techies are comfortable with it, but it would be confusing to a mass audience.

          • by Gerald (9696) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @12:50PM (#28267687) Homepage

            Sourceforge lacks the polish of a true app store. Techies are comfortable with it, but it would be confusing to a mass audience.

            "Comfortable" is a relative term. "Able to wade through all of the dead projects and locate the useful bits" would be more accurate. Same with Freshmeat.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by westlake (615356)

              "Comfortable" is a relative term. "Able to wade through all of the dead projects and locate the useful bits" would be more accurate. Same with Freshmeat.

              Sourceforge is root canal. Sourceforge is the cast that keeps you on crutches for six weeks - with an itch you cannot scratch.

              If Sourceforge were a movie, it would be The Land of the Lost.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Riiiight... how many new Linux users do you think would like to go messing around in SourceForge, getting lost in all the operating systems, CPU architectures and package versions, just to try out the open source version of Bejewelled?

          "App store" has come to mean something where people can browse a list of apps, click "install" on the apps they like, and immediately start using the app. I'm sure it's not hard to see why SourceForge does not fit that description.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Abreu (173023)

            Menu -> Add/Remove Software

            In Add/Remove Software, go to the search box, look for Gweled, click install

            • In Add/Remove Software, go to the search box, look for Gweled, click install

              And if I don't frequent Slashdot, how do I know that Gweled is in the repository, what it does, or how to spell it?

              • by Patch86 (1465427)

                The same way you would on the Apple App Store?

                You select "Games" from the categories along the side, and are given a list of programmes with a blurb-sized description and a popularity rating. If you search for "Bejeweled" or "Diamond Mine" in the main search box, Gweled (and two other clones) comes right up, as it mentions that it is similar to these games in its description.

                I can't see how it could be any simpler, even on the Apple App Store.

                That said, I'd be all for a central "App Store" style repository,

              • by nschubach (922175)

                I believe it has "bejeweled" in the description so that should come up in the search for those looking for Bejeweled. (disclaimer: I could be wrong.)

            • I'm not sure how your reply is in any way related to what I said. Does SourceForge have a "Menu -> Add/Remove Software" option that I'm not aware of?

        • by jopsen (885607)

          What is Sourceforge.net if not an open source app store?

          hmm... the world's largest open source software development web site. As they say on their website... :)

          Ontopic: I don't know any opensource app stores that sells open source software... And why not make it easy to sell opensource software, hopefully cross desktops...

      • by rgo (986711)
        Lindows Marketplace? [windowsmarketplace.com]
      • With screen movies! And everything flying around!

        Something that removes the line between "installed" and "available" programs. Like you click on a file with a certain type and that program gets downloaded and displays the file.

        Something like amazon where you select your apps graphically (not just a dumb list) and it should make a ka-ching sound when you are done.

    • by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @10:16AM (#28265231) Journal
      Friendlier. Like Debian/Ubuntu's gnome-app-install.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jonbryce (703250)

      Or like Linspire's Click & Run

    • 1 Click Installer (Score:2, Interesting)

      by think_nix (1467471)

      I think what they are eventually getting is also implementing openSUSE so called 1 click installer for applications. Although a good idea for newer users I find it to be a PITA. 1 click is like a little repository within itself which then adds repos and missing packages if needed.

      With 1 click downloads and 1 click installers I seriously wonder if this "software store" will work with other distributions other then their own openSUSE/SLED. Also on another note what kind of Software with what license models wi

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mikesd81 (518581)
        they offer 1-clicks for other distros too. check out check out the site [opensuse.org], then click on the drop down and you'll see you can search for other distros too.
      • I for one, know I dont want 1 click everything with (for e.g. mono, imho novell really likes to push this on people) some screwy licensed software being eventually installed without being asked and or notified about it.

        What is screwy in the licensing of mono? The various parts of the code are licensed either under the GPLv2, LGPLv2 and MIT.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mwvdlee (775178)

      No.

      It's more like something a typical linux newbee would be able to use.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Yes - I think all of us thought of Synaptic, the Ports collection, etc.

      Why is Novell building yet another stupid frontend for yum/apt-get/etc?
      Does the world need this?

      On a similar vein - does the linux community really need this? I mean, end-users using linux is nice and all (if that's what they want), but I just find that the more "user-friendly" they make these desktop distros, the harder it is to fix them when they break.

      Take Ubuntu for example - when it works, that's cool. When something breaks, it brea

      • by Dunkirk (238653) *

        I've been using Linux on the desktop since early '95. Full time since about '97. For years and years and years, I waited -- sometimes impatiently -- for things like automatic mounting of CD's and USB sticks, and non-crashing (and non-duplicating) sync'ing of my various Palm devices. When they worked; they were great, and you're right. When they weren't working, there was a lot of fooling around with drivers and modules and init scripts and config files. But now all of that stuff works great. (At least for m

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by wastedlife (1319259)

        Take Ubuntu for example - when it works, that's cool. When something breaks, it breaks ugly and you very quickly destroy the illusion of user-friendliness. Suspend/hibernate, for example. Works great for lots of folks, but when it doesn't... you're building custom hibernate scripts, installing kernel mods like Tux on Ice, etc.

        That isn't a very good example. When suspend/hibernate does not work in windows, you are pretty much fucked or you need to dig around for a driver that might fix the problem. Is there a user-friendly way to fix that? Or what about when the MSI installer fails and breaks a bunch of things and leaves a bunch of bad registry entries and files, is there a user-friendly way to fix that?

        As much as any one vendor will try to make things user-friendly, eventually something will go wrong and someone will need to get

    • by $1uck (710826)
      One that makes sense to non-techies? One that is presumably vetted by Novell?
    • by noundi (1044080)
      To me a reposity is strictly a reposity. It should be a nice clean database. No opinions, no user comments, no news, nothing but software packages. What Novel is trying to do here could be all that. A portal that binds the community together with the devs. Plus if it's platform independent (yes all repos are platform independent but they aren't used as such so hush) it could allow dist specific apps to get some attention across the borders. I don't know, but I see no harm in this.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        A portal that binds the community together with the devs.

        Like sourceforge.net?

        • by noundi (1044080)
          Sure, if that's the only purpose of it. I don't know what they're trying to pull here. Perhaps they'll copy the entire sourceforge concept, or perhaps they understand how useless that would be and have other plans in mind. The description is somewhat abstract so I guess time will tell what will come of this. I won't hold my breath but I won't condemn it either.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by pete.com (741064)
      I think you meant suppository
    • Kind of like a repository?

      Exactly "like" a repository. The difference being that Joe Shmoe hears "repository" and knows that it's some technical thing that will confuse him. But an "apps store"? That will have what he needs!

    • by itsdapead (734413)

      Kind of like a repository?

      Hopefully with some critical differences:

      1. Designed for non-technical users for who, for some strange reason, are scared off by instructions like "add the wsfgl-public repository to your apt.conf file and then apt-get update; apt-get install wsfgl-1.27.15.2-stable".
      2. Not designed by anybody who believes that synaptic is a solution to (1).
      3. Has useful descriptions of packages (hint: "wsfgl-main is a metapackage which installs the latest stable builds of of wsfgl-server, wsfgl-client and libwsfgl" is only usef
  • Apt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @10:03AM (#28265071) Journal

    How does this differ from any of the GUI front ends available for Debian's apt?

    • A web frontend a la CNR [cnr.com]?
      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        CNR is an interesting example. It sort of is an app store but it never really got a lot of traction.
        I wonder how hard it is to get your software in the store and how the revenue shareing system works.
        It has never really taken off.

    • Re:Apt (Score:4, Informative)

      by revlayle (964221) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @10:22AM (#28265333) Homepage
      not all open source apps are on a Linux platform
      • Re:Apt (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @10:35AM (#28265525) Journal
        Wow. That hadn't occured to me. Novel makes an app store for Windwows (and Mac), exposing the users to one of the best features of Linux and BSD (with more apps available than Google Updater). Get all these users hooked on the convenience of having a single auto-update program instead of several, and then let them know that all of these apps they have adapted to are availiable on another, operating system that doesn't cost any money. They won't need to pay for Windows ME 3.0, when it comes out.
        • Auto-Updating annoys the heck out of people though. Especially whenever you try to do something remotely technical like... You know if you don't want the "latest and greatest, lets fix a bug and make options that you spent hours configuring don't work" version. Or if you custom-compile things, etc. I like(d) Ubuntu until it started popping up "Updates available", it was tolerable until 9.04 whenever it just randomly popped up. Yes Ubuntu, I know I can install some updates, however I don't feel like installi
        • by kestasjk (933987) *

          There's going to be a Windows ME 3?? Holy crap, I thought MS were hitting it big with Windows 7, what are they thinking going with a new version of Windows ME??

          • I wasn't referring to 7. But MS will inevitably have another fiasco some day. (Almost) Anything can happen given infinite time.
        • by sootman (158191)

          Get all these [Windwows and Mac] users hooked on the convenience of having a single auto-update program instead of several...

          Oh, so Novell's offering will manage updates for Windows, OS X, Apple's bundled apps, Adobe apps, MS Office, Firefox, Google apps (God how I hate thee), etc.? No? Oh, so then, instead of what you described, it will in fact be one more auto-update tool to deal with. Out-fucking-standing.

          • It can consolidate Firefox, OpenOffice, and all other open source updates into one program. Closed source may continue to push their own, but if this becomes popular enough they may make a third-party repository and add it to the list the package manager checks (much like adding Wine's repositories)
    • Re:Apt (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kj_kabaje (1241696) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @10:23AM (#28265347)
      making FOSS more consumer friendly is not a bad thing. giving people freedom of choice the can understand versus paying for limited choice seems to be pretty good. who cares if it's just a web-based on downloadable interface for apt?
    • Re:Apt (Score:5, Interesting)

      by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @10:28AM (#28265429) Homepage

      Well, there are a bunch of features mobile app stores have that repositories do not. For instance, the ability to post comments, or to rate programs.

      The biggest difference though is in philosophy. Even if you assume a completely authoritarian app store like the iPhones, the apps you download from it are basically what the developers created. You are getting it "as the creator intended". And if you are comparing against Android rather than the iPhone, then the app store is very open, you can upload almost whatever you want within some basic limitations, like, you can't upload an app that violates some other services terms-of-service. Also, an app store is always fresh, because the latency from developers finishing QA on their binary and it being available to download is seconds, at least for Android.

      In contrast, Linux distro repositories have a different philosophy:

      • They reserve the right not only to reject your software for any reason, but also to modify it via patches as well. The user is not informed that any patching has taken place. Sometimes this patching improves the software, but sometimes it totally breaks it. There are many examples of this (eg openssl).

        This silent tampering is extensive and distributors are loathe to give it up. When Mozilla decided they didn't want the Firefox brand tarnished by extensive Debian patches, Debian decided they'd rather rename the product "Iceweasel" than give up this control.

      • Distros are not fresh. Typically the software that was around at the time of release is frozen and updates from upstream are not made available, unless they are security updates. Even then some distros prefer to "backport" security fixes, rather than simply follow upstream versioning. This results in a steady stream of useless bug reports to upstream for problems that were long since fixed. Once again, the developers are not in control of their own software.

      If Novell are actually interested in the app store approach, they're going to have to convince the suse developers to give up that level of control and make automated import of upstream binaries the norm. No more "packagers" for applications - that role will have to be obsoleted. And then they'll have to convince upstream developers to actually submit those binaries.

      I am doubtful that this will happen. Some years ago I promoted a more normal approach to app distribution on Linux (not an app store, but true web-based distribution). I was flatly told by several distribution employees that they weren't interested in losing control of the total software experience like that, and there would be no change in policy whilst they were around. So I gave up. These days I focus on Android - it's actually got a sane design and software distribution mechanism. Many of the things I wanted to see in Linux are in Android. Novell should be looking at how they can get in on that ..... unless they still think Linux is a viable mass-market desktop?

      • And if you are comparing against Android rather than the iPhone, then the app store is very open, you can upload almost whatever you want within some basic limitations, like, you can't upload an app that violates some other services terms-of-service. Also, an app store is always fresh, because the latency from developers finishing QA on their binary and it being available to download is seconds, at least for Android.

        In contrast, Linux distro repositories have a different philosophy:

        I would be surprised if Novell allowed user-uploaded content in their app store. Too easy for it to get cluttered. Hopefully, though, they will allow adding third-party repositories. (Google Updater repository in Novell's package manager, on Windows? Hmm... Google Earth without the Google Desktop cruft!)

      • by dlgeek (1065796)
        You're not characterizing the Debian/Mozilla disagreement very well - it had much more to do with the logo and a lot less with the patches. (When Mozilla granted Ubuntu the right to use the trademark, they announced "This is the right way to do patching!" on a diff LARGER than the Debian one. The Debian patches were mainly bugfixes already committed to Mozilla's CVS that hadn't shipped yet anyway).

        The main issue is that Debian refuses to ship anything not under an open source license that meets the Debian
        • Well, right, I think we're saying the same thing and agreeing :) The core of the problem was Debians requirement that they should be able to ship unapproved patches to Firefox and still call it Firefox [debian.org]. That makes no sense for any program that is trying to build a brand reputation. That's why I said an open source "app store" would have a very different philosophy to an open source "repository" where the understanding is that you can "apt-get install firefox" and possibly get something that is not what the

          • by dlgeek (1065796)
            We're disagreeing about the core of the problem. Mozilla's ultimatum was:

            - All changes the distributor wishes to make to the source code must be provided as discrete patches, along with a description of why the change is required - Releases are expected to be based on the CVS tag and/or source tarball for the release version, plus approved patches. - build configurations should also be submitted for approval. - The logo and the trademark are required to be used together.

            The first part is pretty standard in Debian packages, using either dpatch or quilt to create discreet patches with descriptions at the top. The second point is generally done too, though with packages for bug fixes. Those patches are generally taken from upstream CVS and probably count as "approved." The third is a bit strange, but probably doable, it's most likely referring to the ./configure flags, and such, which I don't see much d

      • Re:Apt (Score:4, Informative)

        by Nursie (632944) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @11:16AM (#28266139)

        What is seen as control to you is seen by debian users like me as a guarantee that the system is going to work.

        There is nothing at all stopping you from putting software on from other sources. You can add apt sources, you can dump binaries on, you can buidl from source, do what the hell you like.

        But the official distro repositories exist to provide distro-approved, working, stable software. Feel free to start your own repo if that's not good enough.

        Debian has more available packages than any other system in existance, if I want something else I go elsewhere and change my expectations of stability accordingly. I'd say the system works absolutely perfectly.

        And you actually *want* to have to go hunting all over the web for badly written, unstable and incompatible software?

        No thanks.

        • My point is exactly that you are not guaranteed the system will work. The people patching the software for a distribution usually have a lesser understanding of the software than the authors do. This can and does lead to critical bugs being added in the process of distribution.

          • by Nursie (632944)

            And my point is that the people making the software are not always familiar with every distribution, whereas the packagers are.

            Both approaches have flaws, but I'd far rather use the version from my distro's repository than I would one I just download from the web.

      • Re:Apt (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jcupitt65 (68879) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @12:26PM (#28267321)

        I think you're missing the key point of a repository: it's a (large) set of software packages that are tested to work together. If you let devs update their packages willy-nilly, you're going to get horrible breakage very quickly.

        Apple's app-store works because there are almost never (as far as I know) dependencies between apps. Updating an app might break the user's savefiles I guess, but it won't stop another app working. To make an analogy: an app store which devs can update can only ever contain leaves, you can't put any twigs/branches/trunk in there.

        I suppose you can imagine an app store built on top of apt. An extra repository which is guaranteed to only contain packages upon which nothing else depends, and which has much looser restrictions on updates.

      • There are Repositories that are pretty fresh, fedora/arch/etc however there is a damn good reason that fewer people run fedora/arch/etc instead of debian/ubuntu/etc. (typing this from fedora 11). If novel want to show of OSS they will have to patch/stabilise/maintain those apps otherwise you end up with a store full of crappy unstable apps that don't work. Now novell could do something clever like allow developers to upload thier latest versions but have the default install stick to stable stabilized apps,

    • by dfdashh (1060546)
      I would guess that they would want to put a new web GUI around their repositories, with metadata and shiny pictures to guide the user towards applications they might want. It is a new concept on what we've had for years now, only with a less-clunky interface (no offense to ATrpms and friends - they do a great job!).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Delkster (820935)

      Also, building a user-friendly store/repository isn't just a technical task. The distinction between a traditional repository and an app store may seem to be a matter of naming, but it really should be also a matter of presentation, and that requires some thoughtful effort.

      For example, it would help browsing if available applications were divided into helpful categories and perhaps sub-categories. Current repositories do of course have categories, but they aren't very helpful to a non-technical user, or eve

    • Well for one thing, the GUIs for apt that I've seen don't really display things as discrete applications. You search for an application, ask to install it, and then you're given a whole list of other packages and files that are going to need to be installed. Now I'm not complaining about that behavior, but that's a very different experience than buying an iPhone app on iTunes.

      Also many packages aren't applications in themselves, but services, libraries, or other stuff that a non-technical end user wouldn

    • Perhaps it will include things that aren't in Debian's repositories?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by drizek (1481461)

      It has an apple-ey sounding name...

      It usually goes like this:

      1. Group A invents something
      2. Nobody buys it.
      3. Apple does the same thing, but worse, and more expensive.
      4. Everyone wants it.
      5. Groups B-K try and copy Apple, making something better, uglier and cheaper.
      6. Everyone still wants the Apple thing they can't afford.
      7. Massive credit card debt and economic crisis.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @10:06AM (#28265121)

    They added a feature to donate money to open source projects. Or even allowed projects to sell their own open-source software in the store. Or sell for cost add-ons to the open source software. Yes, open source software could very well be downloaded elsewhere for free, but people might well pay for the convenience of getting it one place.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Qubit (100461)

      They added a feature to donate money to open source projects. Or even allowed projects to sell their own open-source software in the store. Or sell for cost add-ons to the open source software. Yes, open source software could very well be downloaded elsewhere for free, but people might well pay for the convenience of getting it one place.

      But who does (or should) the money go to?

      • The guy who packaged My-Shiny-FOSS-App for the Novell store?
      • The guy who put the new GUI front-end on the program?
      • The guy who's been maintaining the library underneath it all?
      • The guys who wrote the original version of the library when they were hopped up on RedBull one night in College and then subsequently forgot about it and lost their sf.net password so they abandoned the project?
      • Cowboy Neal?

      Sometimes funding FOSS development is relatively easy -- you've got one pr

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by hotchai (72816)
      Doc Searls (editor of Linux Journal) is working on such a donation system as part of his "Vendor Relationship Management" or VRM project [harvard.edu] at the Berkman Center at Harvard. The idea is to be able to make small voluntary donations to the software author, or more generally the creator of any piece of work. The goal is make this easy -- simple click of a button that says "donate $5" and put you in control of how much of your personal information (name, credit card details etc.) you want the recipient to know.
    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      This is quite close to my first thought about this: why does it have to be free? Just because it is for Linux or Open Source? Open Source does not necessarily mean free-of-charge, not even free-as-in-speech. That one can look at the source and modify it doesn't necessarily mean you have the right to redistribute it, or that you can obtain it for free.

      Now if only they can come with a simple way to pay small amounts (and that is a big issue - without having to buy "credits" in advance or whatever) I think it

    • Donation does not work all that well. But I am fully in favour for a Shop where the author can charge for his work.

  • by trybywrench (584843) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @10:11AM (#28265187)
    Why not let authors of the software charge just like the smart phone apps? Sounds like a revenue source for Novell and a revenue source for software writers. There can be a mix of free and not-free software in the "store" just like Apple's.

    To answer my own question it sounds like Novell wants to leverage the "app store" hype and just put a front end on apt.
    • by jedidiah (1196)

      Or it could be like like the stock market. Prices are set by the
      market. Payment is not mandatory but it's still something that
      would be visible.

      Allowing for a very voluntary sort of shareware setup would not
      be a bad thing. It could allow those of us with more money than
      time to give back and direct it to projects we like.

      You could call it the "free store" and dress it up with hippie imagery... '-)

    • ... and you just beat me to it. In fact I am selling open source for smart phones [1] - and it would be great to sell to the Linux market. In fact it is not a shop if you can't charge for the program. Note that - with the GPL - you only really have to give the source to your customers so I could envision a shop where access to forums, source code etc. pp is only available to paying customers.

      Martin

      [1] http://fx-602p.krischik.com/ [krischik.com]

      • ...you only really have to give the source to your customers so I could envision a shop where access to forums, source code etc. pp is only available to paying customers.

        Works for Red Hat.

  • by Bert64 (520050) <bert AT slashdot DOT firenzee DOT com> on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @10:17AM (#28265251) Homepage

    The idea of an "app store" has really been copied from the software repositories which have been used on OSS systems for many years...

    An often used argument against Linux, is that users want to go down to and buy boxed software to install... But you can't do that with the iphone, the iphone has a repository where you select software and it gets installed for you, just like linux, and this idea has worked very well. Infact, i would say this method works much better than boxed software from B&M stores...

    Users want to get software as easily (and usually cheaply) as possible, and if they were aware of just how much easier Linux makes it would actually prefer this method and consider it a strength of Linux, not a weakness.

    So what we really need, is education and advertising to show people that Linux does this too, and that it's actually much better than having to fork over cash for physical media and have to install it yourself.

    • by sootman (158191)

      A huge reason the iPhone app store has taken off is because it contains only all apps that were written for exactly one platform, just like console games. That doesn't mean that they're all great, but they'll all run on the hardware and they'll all fit on the screen. There's no question of incompatible drivers, not enough VRAM, etc etc etc. (Outside of those that are iPhone-only or 3G-only but those are clearly marked and that's a short list of requirements to check.) Users can buy with confidence knowing

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      I second that. If I'm looking for some software I first look in my distro's repository (Mandriva and Debian for me). Plus in case of Mandriva the PLF repository. Works for 95% of the cases, a few clicks and done. If not there, I check for a package for my distro (rpm resp. deb). And if that doesn't work I normally give up already. I've tried (and often succeeded) compiling from source, but it's cumbersome and usually just not worth the effort.

      Installing in OS-X is also a breeze: double-click the .dmg and d

  • Linspire nee Lindows did this some years ago and it is still around.

    http://www.cnr.com/ [cnr.com]

  • Terrible idea. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @10:26AM (#28265393) Homepage Journal

    As many people will say it is a just a repository.
    They may add reviews and ratings which will be a good thing but they shouldn't limit it to free as in beer software.
    There is nothing that says you can not sell FOSS if they feel that they must keep it open source. I would open it up to closed source software as well so you can create a real market for Linux software.
    If you have both open and closed source developers you will have MORE software choices. You may have both GIMP and Photoshop Elements. GnuCash and Quicken, and SQLedger and QuickBooks.

    I know the many Linux users find the idea of paying for anything to be evil but if you want more Linux users you need to find a way to get more Linux software.
    One thing I really like about an app store is that it really seems to drive down the price of software. Look on the iPhone App store and you will find a lot of $1.99 to $5 software. Some of it is pretty good. There is also a lot of free as in beer software. It does offer a way for programmers to make money and offers the end user a large selection of software.
    And that is a great way to get more Netbook users happy with Linux and more developers developing for Linux. It could even help FOSS. A lot of professional developers do FOSS on the side. If they can make a living using Linux they will be motivated to do more FOSS projects as well.

  • There is no way an Open Source App store is going to work. Open Source apps are already free and you can usually get most of them with yum / apt-get and you expect someone to pay to use your store?

    Hell, this is a worse idea than Sun's Java App Store.

    • by canajin56 (660655)

      Unlike the other stores though, they won't have to pay for any of those applications, which will be very attractive.'"

      It's right in the summary. They basically want a repository front-end, but one that's closer to the iPhone store. Probably with user rankings and reviews, whatever else. App of the week or whatever? Who knows. They call it a store because not everybody knows what they mean if they say a GUI repository front end, but they've probably heard of the iPhone store by now. It might be a poo

  • by javacowboy (222023) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @10:29AM (#28265455)

    I just filed a patent for the idea of porting apt-get to Windows and OS X. Now I'll be rich! RICH! :D

    BTW, I'm only kidding.

    All kidding aside, I think this would be a good idea. This would remove the hassle of finding, installing, and maintaining open source software for Windows and Mac users. As a Mac user that has a lot of open source software installed (Firefox, OpenOffice, GIMP, Adium, etc), I find that MacPorts is lacking in functionality. I spend too much time maintaining these software installations that could otherwise easily be done with a few clicks. This is something that I miss from my OpenSolaris box, which is my second computer.

  • by pete.com (741064) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @10:46AM (#28265651)
    Oh sorry that was just a twitch from the electric shock..... its dead!.
  • I posted a very similar idea [ubuntu.com] to Ubuntu brainstorm a few weeks ago, as a proposed solution to the problem of paying developers of free (libre) software. I feel it's highly relevant to the dialog taking place here about this article, so I've copy-pasted some of it here:

    Despite its closed nature, Apple's App Store has proven to be a tremendous success. The App Store model involves a central organization that approves and distributes commercial applications directly to users. The central organization takes a
  • I'm wondering if they mean something like suse's 1-click installs. They're neat and they have them for other distros too like redhat and debian. Basically if a software is not in the standard distro you can search for it at software.opensuse.org/search and click on the 1-click. It'll then run in Yast. Enter your root password like you would to open the software management and then go on your merry little way.
  • openSUSE Build Service - where you can get a package for Debian, Redhat, or SUSE.

    Trouble is, it doesn't work very well, and many of the 'packages' there are just 'projects'. Hollow.

  • Just for the record: Fuck Aptitude.

    apt-cache search *expr* | grep *exp* #if needed
    apt-get install *package*

    How is that not much easier?

  • They would likely have more people downloading if they charged. iTunes is proof you can charge for something that is free to most people. People value things they pay for more than stuff given away.

    The audience such a store would attract would be those that need lots and lots of help. They would need to (expensively) repackage things with all of their required co-requisites and dependencies. This would make Linux a lot more friendly for people that cannot spend the time to locate the 37 different packag

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