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Novell Ponders "Open-Source Apps Store"

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the return-of-click-n-run dept.

Novell 183

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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183 comments

So, in other words (5, Insightful)

killmenow (184444) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265057)

Kind of like a repository?

Re:So, in other words (4, Interesting)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 5 years ago | (#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?

Re:So, in other words (3, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265491)

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

Re:So, in other words (1, Informative)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265993)

You have to admit though, that an interface with a few pictures would be a nice feature.

Re:So, in other words (1)

paazin (719486) | more than 5 years ago | (#28266187)

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?

Replying to self (3, Funny)

killmenow (184444) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Replying to self (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265767)

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

Re:Replying to self (2, Informative)

artemis67 (93453) | more than 5 years ago | (#28266337)

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

Re:Replying to self (2, Insightful)

SupplyMission (1005737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28266379)

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:So, in other words (1)

Fenax (1094827) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265151)

I suppose with comments from other users, users rating and a lot of web 2.0 useless stuff. Could It be the year of Linux on the Netbook ? ...

Re:So, in other words (3, Interesting)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265231)

Friendlier. Like Debian/Ubuntu's gnome-app-install.

Re:So, in other words (2, Informative)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265249)

Or like Linspire's Click & Run

1 Click Installer (2, Interesting)

think_nix (1467471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265483)

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 will be put in the store ? 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.

Re:1 Click Installer (2, Informative)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#28266003)

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.

Re:1 Click Installer (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28266111)

No Slackware? FORGET IT!!!

Re:So, in other words (2, Informative)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265579)

No.

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

Oh. So you mean like a repository. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28265871)

If a typical Linux newbie can't use a repository, odds are they aren't smart enough to actually use the software they can't install. It's unbelievable that someone couldn't use the modern package repositories with the hundreds of frontends, with millions of websites that help, with the commandline utilities and with online support available 24/7/365.

Re:Oh. So you mean like a repository. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28266117)

24/7/365? Gah! What if it's a leap year you insensitive clod!

Re:So, in other words (2, Interesting)

WinterSolstice (223271) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265581)

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 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.

I just think that this is not a smart move from Novell's part. It will give the appearance of yet another bullet-proof polished tool that will clutter up the menu while giving the appearance of user-friendliness without the actual user-friendliness.

Re:So, in other words (1)

think_nix (1467471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265785)

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?

because they dont have something as powerful as apt or yum. They have zypper(which looks promising imo) and on their enterprise distros zmd/rug which used to be red-carpet but is also mono dependant.

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 breaks ugly and you very quickly destroy the illusion of user-friendliness. I just think that this is not a smart move from Novell's part. It will give the appearance of yet another bullet-proof polished tool that will clutter up the menu while giving the appearance of user-friendliness without the actual user-friendliness.

Not only that but consider also adding to the bloat.. What happened to fast, slim, and effective ? Everyone wants the candy & cool-aid these days. Also trying to submit accepted bug reports to some distros is a PITA trying to get them to fix things, imho.

Windows has open source too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28266627)

I'm not readily aware of any Windows apt-get type solutions. I'm assuming Novell will also host Windows open source software (per TFA). Windows users will become aware of the great software open source can provide. Something no linux repository currently does. Sourceforge is close, but no one I work with has ever heard of it.

Re:So, in other words (1)

$1uck (710826) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265613)

One that makes sense to non-techies? One that is presumably vetted by Novell?

Re:So, in other words (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265699)

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.

Re:So, in other words (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265781)

A portal that binds the community together with the devs.

Like sourceforge.net?

Re:So, in other words (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265879)

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:So, in other words (2, Funny)

pete.com (741064) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265729)

I think you meant suppository

Re:So, in other words (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265919)

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!

Apt (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265071)

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

Re:Apt (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265287)

A web frontend a la CNR [cnr.com] ?

Re:Apt (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#28266021)

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 (3, Informative)

revlayle (964221) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265333)

not all open source apps are on a Linux platform

Re:Apt (5, Interesting)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265525)

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.

Re:Apt (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28266185)

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 installing them now. Its gotten so annoying that I have set up a script to kill all the annoying popups, but auto-update, despite how nice it is for some programs (browsers, MMOs, etc) its really annoying sometimes.

Re:Apt (5, Insightful)

kj_kabaje (1241696) | more than 5 years ago | (#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 (5, Interesting)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265429)

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?

Re:Apt (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265649)

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!)

Re:Apt (1)

OolimPhon (1120895) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265845)

Hmm... Google Cruft... have they trademarked that?

Re:Apt (1)

dlgeek (1065796) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265703)

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 Free Software Guidelines (DFSG). While the Firefox codebase is free, the logo can not be distributed in modified form, violating the DFSG. For several years, Debian had an agreement with Mozilla that it was fine to ship Firefox named as-is but with a plain logo (though Debian still lobbied for a free logo). However, when the person in charge of trademark enforcement at Mozilla was replaced, they became much more concerned about branding and revoked this permission, insisting that it be shipped with either both the name and the logo or neither.

Debian was perfectly willing to do this is the logo was re-licensed under a free license (and still protected under trademark) but Mozilla was worried this would cause a dilution of their trademark and refused. Thus, unable to ship any non-free material because of their standards, Debian was forced to remove the name as well.

Re:Apt (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265881)

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 Firefox developers actually created.

Re:Apt (1)

dlgeek (1065796) | more than 5 years ago | (#28266099)

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 disagreement about. The last point is what I was saying - Debian could not under it's own policies ship the logo since it is not free software. (For Debian, anything in binary form is software and has to meet the same levels of freedom).

Re:Apt (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28266367)

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. 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 Firefox developers actually created.

The purpose of Debian is to provide a system that has no legal obligations baked in. There might be technical things missing that you want to add that require some extra steps or permissions or whatever, but if you use stock Debian, you have no need to consult with anyone under the sun. That makes it slightly less convenient from a "just works" perspective sometimes, but it also allows certain groups of people to save millions of dollars in administration and legal advice, and it removes uncertainty about liability from your plans. You may not want to use it, but it's still probably the most important distribution in existence because it makes so many other things possible.

Re:Apt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28266121)

Use a non-distro repository. Problem solved.

Re:Apt (3, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Apt (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 5 years ago | (#28266307)

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.

Re:Apt (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28266643)

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 (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28266153)

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.


You're missing one important thing in your little speech. Repositories are not mutually exclusive. Using a single repository is not the standard. Having multiple repositories is the standard. Setting up your own repository and having complete control over your distribution is entirely practical, and should be well within the capacities of anyone who is technically skilled enough to write software.

Re:Apt (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 5 years ago | (#28266299)

Actually this is pretty difficult. It's technically possible if you pay close attention to the versioning used by the distributor and ensure your packages will always override theirs. It's a lot of effort and really not user friendly or well supported. And it's not an app store, which was my point.

Re:Apt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28266697)

While you have some truth in your statements (openssl) and other things have been corrected (Mozilla) I still look at you list as kind of oddly. Have you been slighted? As a user (perhaps one day, most likely when I retire, I'll be a dev) I've made patches for software for inclusion because not everyone writes things the way distros like them to be written (pathes, etc...).

And as far a stale goes, sometimes it's because they have to look at the bigger picture to get the program to work nicely with the rest of the software on a machine. If everyone used the latest version, then things wouldn't work cause you can't write things for the future, you write things for now.

But perhaps those issues will be taken care of by devs if they want them to be in the "store." This is something that Apple and Microsoft have a heads up on. Their OS doesn't change much so things are "easier."

On a complete side note, Firefox on XP is doing some weird graphic bulleting thing.

Re:Apt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28265447)

This is probably more like OpenSuSE's "one-click install" service. Very useful if you need to install several packages that are not necessarily a dependency of each other. Like gstreamer plugins and win32 codecs for totem, etc.

Re:Apt (1)

dfdashh (1060546) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265557)

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:Apt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28265559)

TFA doesn't state this, but I guess it could be an open source repository *including Windows versions*, in which case it could be a major step forward for Windows users - look here first before you start trawling random websites and end up with malware. I can't see anyone using it for Linux in preference to their own distros' repos.

Re:Apt (2, Insightful)

Delkster (820935) | more than 5 years ago | (#28266157)

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 even to a technical one: many categories contain so many packages that it makes no sense to browse through them.

In an app store targeted at a general audience, the categories need to be meaningfully sized and set based on non-technical use cases, not technical needs. Also, descriptions for the applications need to be thought about. gnome-app-install used e.g. by Ubuntu is nicer for the average person than browsing through the entire repository (no libraries etc. that most people wouldn't want to install directly anyway), but the package descriptions could really use some work.

Example: Person receives a 7z archive and gets a tip that 7zip can be used to open it. Person finds "7zip" in add/remove applications. And what does the description for that have to say? (from Ubuntu 8.04 LTS)

7z and 7za file archivers with high compression ratio

p7zip is the Unix port of 7-Zip, a file archiver that archives with very high compression ratios.

p7zip-full provides:

  • /usr/bin/7za a standalone version of the 7-zip tool that handles 7z archives (implementation of the LZMA compression algorithm) and some other formats.
  • /usr/bin/7z not only does it handle 7z but also ZIP, Zip64, CAB, RAR, ARJ, GZIP, BZIP2, TAR, CPIO, RPM, ISO and DEB archives. 7z compression is 30-50% better than ZIP compression.

p7zip provides 7zr, a light version of 7za, and p7zip a gzip like wrapper around 7zr.

So, uhm, yeah. That's useful information if you already know that both tools listed above are command line tools and that certain archiving GUIs can also use them if they're installed. Other than that, the person in our examle is left totally in the dark. Is this the application he wants for opening the archive? If it is, how on earth should it be used? (Probably just by double-clicking on the archive, because now the same GUI the person had previously used for zip archives can also open 7z, thanks to the installation of the command-line tool, but that's in no way obvious unless you already knew it.) Perhaps the description in an app store should just say "installing this application will allow you to open and create 7z archives with $standard_archiver_gui." In a repository more likely used by more experienced and technically-minded people it would be a useful detail to mention the command-line utilities.

That's certainly just an anecdote, but there are similar and milder cases spread all over, both in gnome-app-install and particularly in more traditional repositories. Good descriptions are also important for searchability.

Anything calling itself an app store should focus more on usability to the average person rather than to the geek who knows and cares what the difference between a Qt and GTK application is. That's another difference between a traditional repository and the kind of an app store the Novell guy is talking about. Yes, it's partially marketing, but it's also a matter of real usability for many people.

Other details such as meaningful sorting for search results come to mind. Also, in an app store you'd probably want to pre-select the applications at least to some degree rather than dumping all open source software the world has produced into the same view. (Huge repositories such as Debian's certainly have their place, and I love having one at my disposal, but most people really aren't going to need a gazillion different applications written for different UI toolkits when there's a perfectly decent one for the one that comes installed with the netbook.

An app store could certainly be technically quite similar to a traditional repository, but there are several subtle differences that make the difference between whether it's marketable (or usable) as a general-audience app store or not.

It's free? (1)

b0ttle (1332811) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265087)

Where?

Great Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28265093)

Let's call it freshmeat! or how about Repository!

Actually, i know what they are getting at. It should be a community that recommends or spotlights existing or new applications.

Great Idea, just follow through Solidly. (1)

spiffydudex (1458363) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265117)

I wonder if it would act like the standard linux repositories. Just search and download. If this is followed through and done correctly, an open source "App Store" could give power to some not so well known apps.

My only concern is with the title of "store" what will they be charging for?
Additionally could this implicate free software as we saw on the iPhone, lots and lots of extremely hampered trial-ware?

Re:Great Idea, just follow through Solidly. (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265185)

Additionally could this implicate free software as we saw on the iPhone, lots and lots of extremely hampered trial-ware?

What would be the point since this isn't going to be a pay-for-apps store?

Re:Great Idea, just follow through Solidly. (4, Informative)

jshackles (957031) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265245)

I think they are mostly trying to capture the iphone / itunes / android / windows mobile / palm-pre marketplace mentality. Nobody is interested when it's called a "repository" but if you call it an "app store" people will download....

It would be nice if... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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:It would be nice if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28265201)

but people might well pay for the convenience of getting it one place.

hahahahahahaha!

Re:It would be nice if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28265289)

Right...such as can be done by a few additions to your repos file and the use of Synaptic???

Re:It would be nice if... (2, Interesting)

Qubit (100461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265679)

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 program that you use all the time, it's written by a single guy (or group of guys), and they've all agreed to have money go to a single organization that has nonprofit status, making it easy to just cut them a check.

For all the rest of the projects, funding development is not so easy.

Lots of projects say things like "Yeah... take a look at the commit logs and decide who you want to fund. Most developers have an Amazon wishlist or a hardware wishlist." While I understand their situation, it would be a lot easier for me if I could just send money to some organization or person. Otherwise I agonize over who to send what to. That's the simple truth.

Speaking of funding FOSS projects, I'm going to put in a shameless plug for my article Free Software starts in your pocket [wordpress.com] . I'm kind of "beta testing" it right now, and while it doesn't solve the problem of how to give to FOSS projects that I mentioned above, it does solve the problem of remembering to donate money regularly.

Re:It would be nice if... (2, Insightful)

hotchai (72816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265749)

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.

Re:It would be nice if... (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265791)

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 can give a great boost to open-source developers. If an application is good, well yes I'd happily donate a small amount (though much rather after obtaining it; not beforehand - try before you buy). Not US$50 or so - more like a dollar or two. Let a couple hundred people do so and the developer can buy himself a nice upgrade for his computer. Always nice when your hobby gives you something real in return.

Donation does not work (1)

krischik (781389) | more than 5 years ago | (#28266001)

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

Re:It would be nice if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28266295)

What's the point? Quality for-pay software is already available from other sources. A convenient way to donate might be nice, but that's a lot of extra complexity for a seldom-used feature. Just put in a reference to the project's web site where they will tell you the best way to donate.

The only real purpose I can see for charging is to make a living off the impulse buyers. I'm sure we can all find better ways to make money.

Novell Ponders the Nullification of Rob Malda (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28265159)

Rob Malda is a 26-year old white male with a stocky build and a beard. His head is shaved. He responded to my ad to be interviewed for this article wearing only leather pants, leather boots and a leather vest. I could see that both of his nipples were pierced with large-gauge silver rings.

Questioner: I hope you won't be offended if I ask you to prove to me that you're a nullo. Just so that our readers will know that this isn't a fake.

Rob: Sure, no problem. (stands and unbuckles pants and drops them to his ankles, revealing a smooth, shaven crotch with only a thin scar to show where his genitals once were).

Q: Thank you. That's a remarkable sight.

(laughs and pulls pants back up). Most people think so.

Q: What made you decide to become a nullo?

(pauses). Well, it really wasn't entirely my decision.

Q: Excuse me?

The idea wasn't mine. It was my lover's idea.

Q: Please explain what you mean.

Okay, it's a long story. You have to understand my relationship with Michael before you'll know what happened.

Q: We have plenty of time. Please go on.

Both of us were into the leather lifestyle when we met through a personal ad. Michael's ad was very specific: he was looking for someone to completely dominate and modify to his pleasure. In other word, a slave.

The ad intrigued me. I had been in a number of B&D scenes and also some S&M, but I found them unsatisfying because they were all temporary. After the fun was over, everybody went on with life as usual.

I was looking for a complete life change. I wanted to meet someone who would be part of my life forever. Someone who would control me and change me at his whim.

Q: In other words, you're a true masochist.

Oh yes, no doubt about that. I've always been totally passive in my sexual relationships.

Anyway, we met and there was instant chemistry. Michael is a few years older than me and very good looking. Our personalities meshed totally. He's very dominant.

I went back to his place after drinks and had the best sex of my life. That's when I knew I was going to be with Michael for a long, long time.

Q: What sort of things did you two do?

It was very heavy right away. He restrained me and whipped me for quite awhile. He put clamps on my nipples and a ball gag in my mouth. And he hung a ball bag on my sack with some very heavy weights. That bag really bounced around when Michael fucked me from behind.

Q: Ouch.

(laughs) Yeah, no kidding. At first I didn't think I could take the pain, but Michael worked me through it and after awhile I was flying. I was sorry when it was over.

Michael enjoyed it as much as I did. Afterwards he talked about what kind of a commitment I'd have to make if I wanted to stay with him.

Q: What did he say exactly?

Well, besides agreeing to be his slave in every way, I'd have to be ready to be modified. To have my body modified.

Q: Did he explain what he meant by that?

Not specifically, but I got the general idea. I guessed that something like castration might be part of it.

Q: How did that make you feel?

(laughs) I think it would make any guy a little hesitant.

Q: But it didn't stop you from agreeing to Michael's terms?

No it didn't. I was totally hooked on this man. I knew that I was willing to pay any price to be with him.

Anyway, a few days later I moved in with Michael. He gave me the rules right away: I'd have to be naked at all times while we were indoors, except for a leather dog collar that I could never take off. I had to keep my head shaved. And I had to wear a butt plug except when I needed to take a shit or when we were having sex.

I had to sleep on the floor next to his bed. I ate all my food on the floor, too.

The next day he took me to a piercing parlor where he had my nipples done, and a Prince Albert put into the head of my cock.

Q: Heavy stuff.

Yeah, and it got heavier. He used me as a toilet, pissing in my mouth. I had to lick his asshole clean after he took a shit, too. It was all part of a process to break down any sense of individuality I had. After awhile, I wouldn't hesitate to do anything he asked.

Q: Did the sex get rougher?

Oh God, yeah. He started fisting me every time we had sex. But he really started concentrating on my cock and balls, working them over for hours at a time.

He put pins into the head of my cock and into my sack. He attached clothespins up and down my cock and around my sack. The pain was pretty bad. He had to gag me to keep me from screaming.

Q: When did the idea of nullification come up?

Well, it wasn't nullification at first. He started talking about how I needed to make a greater commitment to him, to do something to show that I was dedicated to him for life.

When I asked him what he meant, he said that he wanted to take my balls.

Q: How did you respond?

Not very well at first. I told him that I liked being a man and didn't want to become a eunuch. But he kept at me, and wore me down. He reminded me that I agreed to be modified according to his wishes, and this is what he wanted for me. Anything less would show that I wasn't really committed to the relationship. And besides, I was a total bottom and didn't really need my balls.

It took about a week before I agreed to be castrated. But I wasn't happy about it, believe me.

Q: How did he castrate you?

Michael had a friend who was into the eunuch scene. One night he came over with his bag of toys, and Michael told me that this was it. I was gonna lose my nuts then and there.

Q: Did you think of resisting?

I did for a minute, but deep down I knew there was no way. I just didn't want to lose Michael. I'd rather lose my balls.

Michael's friend restrained me on the living room floor while Michael videotaped us. He used an elastrator to put a band around my sack.

Q: That must have really hurt.

Hell yeah. It's liked getting kicked in the balls over and over again. I screamed for him to cut the band off, but he just kept on going, putting more bands on me. I had four bands around my sack when he finished.

I was rolling around on the floor screaming, while Michael just videotaped me. Eventually, my sack got numb and the pain subsided. I looked between my legs and could see my sack was a dark purple. I knew my balls were dying inside.

Michael and his friend left the room and turned out the light. I lay there for hours, crying because I was turning into a eunuch and there wasn't anything I could do about it.

Q: What happened then?

Eventually I fell asleep from exhaustion. Then the light switched on and I could see Michael's friend kneeling between my legs, touching my sack. I heard him tell Michael that my balls were dead.

Q: How did Michael react?

Very pleased. He bent down and felt around my sack. He said that it felt cold.

Michael's friend told me that I needed to keep the bands on. He said that eventually my balls and sack would dry up and fall off. I just nodded. What else could I do at that point?

Q: Did it happen just like Michael's friend said?

Yeah, a week or so later my package just fell off. Michael put it in a jar of alcohol to preserve it. It's on the table next to his bed.

Q: How did things go after that?

Michael was really loving to me. He kept saying how proud he was of me, how grateful that I had made the commitment to him. He even let me sleep in his bed.

Q: What about the sex?

We waited awhile after my castration, and then took it easy until I was completely healed. At first I was able to get hard, but as the weeks went by my erections began to disappear.

That pleased Michael. He liked fucking me and feeling my limp cock. It made his dominance over me even greater.

Q: When did he start talking about making you a nullo?

A couple of months after he took my nuts. Our sex had gotten to be just as rough as before the castration. He really got off on torturing my cock. Then he started saying stuff like, "Why do you even need this anymore?"

That freaked me out. I always thought that he might someday take my balls, but I never imagined that he'd go all the way. I told him that I wanted to keep my dick.

Q: How did he react to that?

At first he didn't say much. But he kept pushing. Michael said I would look so nice being smooth between my legs. He said my dick was small and never got hard anymore, so what was the point of having it.

But I still resisted. I wanted to keep my cock. I felt like I wouldn't be a man anymore without it.

Q: So how did he get you to agree?

He didn't. He took it against my will.

Q: How did that happen?

We were having sex in the basement, and I was tied up and bent over this wooden bench as he fucked me. Then I heard the doorbell ring. Michael answered it, and he brought this guy into the room.

At first I couldn't see anything because of the way I was tied. But then I felt these hands lift me up and put me on my back. And I could see it was Michael's friend, the guy who took my nuts.

Q: How did you react?

I started screaming and crying, but the guy just gagged me. The two of them dragged me to the other side of the room where they tied me spread eagled on the floor.

Michael's friend snaked a catheter up my dick, and gave me a shot to numb my crotch. I was grateful for that, at least. I remember how bad it hurt to lose my balls.

Q: What was Michael doing at this time?

He was kneeling next to me talking quietly. He said I'd be happy that they were doing this. That it would make our relationship better. That kind of calmed me down. I thought, "Well, maybe it won't be so bad."

Q: How long did the penectomy take?

It took awhile. Some of the penis is inside the body, so he had to dig inside to get all of it. There was a lot of stitching up and stuff. He put my cock in the same jar with my balls. You can even see the Prince Albert sticking out of the head.

Then they made me a new pisshole. It's between my asshole and where my sack used to be. So now I have to squat to piss.

Q: What has life been like since you were nullified?

After I got over the surgery and my anger, things got better. When I healed up, I began to like my smooth look. Michael brought friends over and they all admired it, saying how pretty I looked. It made me feel good that Michael was proud of me.

Q: Do you have any sexual feeling anymore?

Yes, my prostate still responds when Michael fucks me or uses the buttplug. And my nipples are quite sensitive. If Michael plays with them while fucking me, I have a kind of orgasm. It's hard to describe, but it's definitely an orgasm.

Sometimes Michael says he's gonna have my prostate and nipples removed, but he's just kidding around. He's happy with what he's done to me.

Q: So are you glad Michael had you nullified?

Well, I wouldn't say I'm glad. If I could, I'd like to have my cock and balls back. But I know that I'm a nullo forever. So I'm making the best of it.

Michael and I are very happy. I know that he'll take care of me and we'll be together always. I guess losing my manhood was worth it to make that happen for us.

why not let authors charge? (2, Interesting)

trybywrench (584843) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:why not let authors charge? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265305)

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... '-)

Was just about to ask that question... (1)

krischik (781389) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265493)

... 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]

Re:Was just about to ask that question... (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265675)

...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.

"store"? (1)

jmcvetta (153563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265217)

I don't think Novell has quite come to terms with the idea of Free Software yet...

Free access to the source code for customers only (1)

krischik (781389) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265535)

The GPL is pretty clear here: Only your customers have the right to access the source code.

I think you need to come to terms that free is not gratis.

Martin

Just new marketing.. (2, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265251)

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.

Re:Just new marketing.. (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265633)

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 that if nothing else, the app will at least function 100%. That is why the iPhone app store is doing so well. That, and it's the only game in town--unlike for general-purpose computers, where there are many ways to get apps.

Re:Just new marketing.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28266489)

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.

You have just described how a Linux repository works. Seriously, do you Apple zealots even know what a repository is? Apple stole the concept lock stock and barrel, threw one of their patented GUI's on top of it and called it a day.

Re:Just new marketing.. (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265969)

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 drag&drop the app usually. Windows on the other hand... back to the stone-age. It really all works different, and everyone is re-inventing the wheel it seems.

Oh and then I'm not even talking about the effort to find the software in the first place, especially if you don't have a name but just a general description! Such as "photo editor". You can search a Linux distro's repository for "photo editor" and get a handful options. Windows and OS-X have no such options, much more digging required...

As a developer i don't find it's so attractive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28265293)

As a developer i don't find it's so attractive

I prefer to post Mac OS X, Windows and iPhone Apps. At least they allow any developer to get payed for developing software.
Why should I develop for free to let Novel collect money?
Developers should start to open their eyes
I will start to work for free when also others workers will start to work for free. At the moment only developers do that.

Freshmeat ? (1)

sebt3 (923707) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265329)

errr, Freshmeat isn't dead yet :P

Re:Freshmeat ? (1)

loutr (626763) | more than 5 years ago | (#28266173)

Freshmeat is great, but a bit (or a lot, depending on your computer litteracy) of work must be done to install and run the software they host. This app store seems more similar to click&run or synaptics.

One size fits all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28265335)

Maybe this could be the start of integrating all the different package managers into one!

Can it be possible for all distributions to share a common package manager?

Click N Run (1)

chill (34294) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265365)

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

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

Lets take a positive spin on this (1)

ITJC68 (1370229) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265373)

This can be good for the open source movement if it is done correctly. I agree with the previous posts that an application in their Linux products that would allow a customer to have an app that can download everything that will run and work for their Linux distro with an installer to make it easier for the non techies this would help adoption of Linux. I know Ubuntu and others have apt but if Novell does this with an option that would encourage donations to the writers with a safe option to donate without making people uncomfortable with transactions being safe this would work and get some much needed funds to the writers of the free software. A win win for open source and the developers. Again this would have to be done right. As a user at work with Suse Enterprise Desktop this would work as well as people who use the open version. I know there are some that hate Novell for the M$ pact so this won't matter to them. And yes I have given donations to open source development.

Terrible idea. (3, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265393)

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.

Novell just can't get it right (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265431)

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.

Re:Novell just can't get it right (1)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265983)

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 poor word choice/analogy, but since store can also mean a place where goods are stored, as opposed to where they are sold, it escapes being an outright incorrect word choice on a technicality ;) Now if they made their client work on both Linux and Windows netbooks, that would be pretty cool too. It doesn't sound like that in the article, but who knows.

Port apt-get to Windows and OS X (3, Interesting)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Port apt-get to Windows and OS X (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265713)

Prior art:

http://www.finkproject.org/ [finkproject.org]

http://sourceforge.net/projects/fink/ [sourceforge.net]

Registered : 2000-12-27 22:07

Its good to hear Novell has caught up to the open source world of 2000, unfortunately for them, today is June 9th 2009.

Re:Port apt-get to Windows and OS X (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28266045)

This sounds good and all, but I think that part of the problem is that the back-end assumed by apt-get is debian/linux. If you could develop a back-end that would work with windows and allow all apt-get applications to use it, that would then work.

The problem is like wine, only in reverse.

... and get your machine contaminated with Mono (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28265477)

Right! Microsoft/Novell helps you contaminate your machine with patent-encumbered Mono so that Microsoft can send you a bill for license fees.

Microsoft/Novell can also infect your machine with malware that reduces your fine Linux box to Windows grade security. ... Microsoft can then legitimately say that Linux is as vulnerable to malware as is Windows.

Just a thought.

They should charge something (1)

KiwiCanuck (1075767) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265479)

Maybe charge for access (subscription). Or charge a flat rate for posting, and then the owner can set the price. Eventually, owner will want to profit from their code. It would be better to have this infrastructure in place now. Rather than scrambling to build it later.

sudo apt-get synaptic. (1)

BlueKitties (1541613) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265487)

Redundant on three accounts, funny no? Find the third and mod me down for it. ;p On a serious note, I'd be willing to donate coding time to open source cell apps.

Re:sudo apt-get synaptic. (1)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265793)

Synaptic is friendlier than apt which is friendlier than dpkg.

Cow crap stinks less than horse crap which stinks less than pig crap.

Seriously, having a choice between incredibly slow and inefficient bloatware with a pretty face, a command-line client that pre-supposes immense knowledge of package availability and naming, and a totally user-hostile but really solid tool that was always intended to be a backend only... wait, which choice doesn't stink again? Because my 78 year old father (who runs and likes Ubuntu BTW) thinks they all suck. He uses synaptic because it sucks slightly less.

Novell... its alive (3, Funny)

pete.com (741064) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265651)

Oh sorry that was just a twitch from the electric shock..... its dead!.

why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28265723)

doesn't apt-get work anymore?

mo3 uP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28265823)

A solution to pay developers of free software (2, Interesting)

otakuj462 (1071510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265859)

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 small percentage of the revenue generated on each app sold; the rest of the revenue goes directly in the pocket of the developer. The overall goal is to make it as easy as possible to connect users who want to pay for high-quality free software, to developers who want to produce that software.

It is very easy to imagine Canonical acting as the the central distributor in this model, as it currently performs this role already with software that is free-as-in-beer (much of it is free-as-in-speech as well). Additionally, much of the core technologies required for such an app store to exist are already in place: distribution, packaging and installation is all provided by apt; Synaptic provides a convenient graphical front-end for installation and package management. Perhaps, with small extensions to these existing systems, it would be possible to create an infrastructure to allow for individual payments to application developers.

It is also important to note that while Apple's app store primarily hosts non-free software (free as in beer, and free as in speech), and uses DRM to ensure that users do not make copies of this software, I believe that neither of these features are essential to the success of an Ubuntu App Store. It is possible to imagine individual users swapping .deb's of contribution-based software via filesharing networks, or visiting the authors' websites to compile "contribution-based" software from source and package it by hand; and, according to the terms of the GPL, and most other free software licenses, they would be completely within their rights to do so. However, such methods are much less convenient than simply clicking through a graphical interface, and obtaining your packages directly from Canonical, especially with respect to the demographic of non-technical users that Canonical would like to target. Just so long as value is added to the software in some way, be it by way of convenience or by some other means, then a "contribution-based" repository will be used over other methods of obtaining and installing the software. Additionally, I feel that many Ubuntu users would like to see developers get paid, and thus would be more inclined to use such a service.

In conclusion, while putting a price on software that has otherwise been free-as-in-cost might at first seem a bit unusual, we must consider that providing a convenient, direct mechanism for developers to be paid for their software will help, not harm, the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution, the ecosystem of free-as-in-speech software, and the Free Software Movement in general. It will attract more users and more developers to the Ubuntu GNU/Linux platform, especially as such a mechanism does not exist on Microsoft Windows. One need only look to the success of the Apple App Store, and Sun's soon-to-be-launched Java app store, to see that there is a demand for such a distribution model.

If you like this idea, please feel free to vote the it up on Ubuntu Brainstorm. Thanks,

Jake

1-click installs (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265951)

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.

Why did nobody think of this before??? Oh wait. (1)

OriginalSolver (552648) | more than 5 years ago | (#28266089)

This is just a repository. Granted doing it for MS-Windows will make it attractive to a wider audience.

Kind of like openSUSE Build Service (1)

itomato (91092) | more than 5 years ago | (#28266433)

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.

NOVELL just does not get open source (0, Flamebait)

cenc (1310167) | more than 5 years ago | (#28266459)

They just don't get it. Every time they touch something in open source, they try to turn it in to some sort of MS want-a-be crap and sneak in some back door attempt to charge for what is freely available without adding any real value to it (in fact, often removing the value from it).

I have been looking at their stock for months trying to figure out a compelling reason to buy it based on their buisness strategy, that some other competitor could not just crush them for free (other than they might be a target for a buy out). Why buy the cow when the milk is free?

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