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Canonical Announces Ubuntu App Showdown

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the pistol-based-apps-not-welcome dept.

Software 56

alphadogg writes "Linux developers will soon have a chance to compete for prizes of laptops and smartphones, thanks to Canonical's announcement this week of the Ubuntu App Showdown contest. Developers will have from June 18 until July 9 — a total of three weeks — to create an app using Canonical's Quickly development tool, which combines Python and GTK into a single Ubuntu-centric package. The resulting apps will be judged by a five-member panel, with the developers of the top three receiving new Nokia N9 smartphones."

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56 comments

They have dropped the Quickly requirement (5, Interesting)

Picass0 (147474) | about 2 years ago | (#40338473)

Re:They have dropped the Quickly requirement (3, Insightful)

Pecisk (688001) | about 2 years ago | (#40338557)

Yep, because while Quickly is nice, it's "one size fits all" thingy (if there ever is), and easiest way is to use Glade + Gedit/Geany/Anjuta (or Notepad++, if Windows is your thing).

Anyway, this is good contest. Python with GTK+ is something really nice, and while it has some shortcomings, beginners can very easy start to hack nice looking apps using them.

Re:They have dropped the Quickly requirement (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40342675)

PySide is much nicer.

Re:They have dropped the Quickly requirement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40338783)

I would leave my wife if she dropped the quickly requirement.

Re:They have dropped the Quickly requirement (1)

mcneely.mike (927221) | about 2 years ago | (#40340251)

She probably wouldn't have married you if she'd known you were a 'quick shot'... poor lady. :-(

Is it really a 'contest' ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40338535)

Will reward for interest in our new concoction of code.

Non python developers need not apply.

Other dev platforms and app stores don't need contests to draw developers... They just make good tools and offer a decent distribution system.

Well, I guess you might say Apple's got sort of a running contest with their app approval process, but in my experience it's more like the lottery than a contest.

Thanks Canonical (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40338551)

to create an app using Canonical's Quickly development tool, which combines Python and GTK into a single Ubuntu-centric package.

Thanks. Linux needs distro specific app development tools. Please, fragment Linux, that'll really help the Linux-on-the-desktop cause...

Re:Thanks Canonical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40338655)

Yes; because no tool is every introduced in one distribution first before the other ones choose to port it. I'm really much more worried about that than the fact that they have introduced yet another packaging standard.

Re:Thanks Canonical (3, Interesting)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 years ago | (#40338801)

If it requires Unity, it can stay on Ubuntu and nothing of value will be lost or hampered. Unity, like the MS Ribbon but with darker clown barf

Re:Thanks Canonical (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40339357)

You people are way over the top with the Unity hate. I've been using it ever since Ubuntu 12.04 came out and there are a lot of good ideas in there. It isn't perfect but no desktop environment is.

Re:Thanks Canonical (1, Troll)

LurkerXXX (667952) | about 2 years ago | (#40339753)

Yes, somone posts who likes Unity as an anonymous coward. Obvious troll.

Re:Thanks Canonical (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40339989)

The content of a post makes a troll, and that was not one. The guy thinks the Unity hate has escalated to gross hyperpole. He's probably right.

More likely than not he just doesn't want his karma dinged for stating a valid opinion.

Re:Thanks Canonical (2)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | about 2 years ago | (#40344235)

I agree, and I don't really care if my Karma takes a hit. I think Unity had the same development path as KDE4: It was a steaming pile of crap in the start but it has rounded into a really nice piece. When I upgrade my laptop I plan on installing Ubuntu with Unity (as opposed to the current laptop's Lubuntu install).

Re:Thanks Canonical (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 years ago | (#40352913)

you must do only one task for long periods of time. some of use need to synthesize from many running apps. some of us have workflow, and we don't want some ivory tower GNOME3 dweeb to dictate it to us

Re:Thanks Canonical (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#40339389)

Thanks. Linux needs distro specific app development tools. Please, fragment Linux, that'll really help the Linux-on-the-desktop cause...

Or maybe it might be a good move to declare some distro (which, for practical reasons could be Ubuntu) the one mainline Linux distro. Then try to make that as compatible, supported and polished as possible. Sure, everybody wouldn't like every aspect of it, but we would just draw strict lines. This would be much more practical than the current unfocused pool of various desktops and development environments. Even in this scenario the other choices could still flourish (so that you can have the choice if you really want it).

ADBU (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40339577)

Any Distro but Ubuntu thanks.
There is far too much press whoring/fawning over the increasingly problematic releases that Canonical put out.

IMHO Unity set the UI bar very low. Its only saving grace is that Metro easily passed underneath.

I was a very early adopter of Ubuntu but frankly since 10.04 it has sucked big time. I keep trying the new releases but I've wiped from all my systems now. I have also stopped recommending it to others.
I've gone back to the first two distros I ever used. Slackware and RedHat (actually CentOS). They just work without the issues I was having with more recent Ubuntu (or its derivatives).

Re:ADBU (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#40342745)

Any Distro but Ubuntu thanks. There is far too much press whoring/fawning over the increasingly problematic releases that Canonical put out.

IMHO Unity set the UI bar very low. Its only saving grace is that Metro easily passed underneath.

Hey, even I think Unity sucks (my gripe is that it runs damn slow). But still, we could be forever arguing about which one is the best, and the situation wouldn't improve. I'll rather take a solid de facto Ubuntu rather than 10 distros broken in different ways. You could still use Slackware or CentOS, but Ubuntu would be the benchmark.

Re:Thanks Canonical (2)

Sal Zeta (929250) | about 2 years ago | (#40339897)

Well, I would be glad for once to use some UI tools that are specific to my distro instead of being so generic that they are basically useless, requiring me to handle everything from command line. We're in 2012, and yet I've had to manually edit xorg.conf to use an external projector and change its resolution.

Yeah, I know, the abundance of options and choices and distros should be considered a bless.

But for once I would like something just tailored for basic usage on a desktop environment, instead of messing with config files for hours, just because every window/sound/desktop manager seems to have to support every possible use case, from mobile to server farm configurations; and by the time that every specific corner case has been adressed, we're not sure anymore that the most common usage it's working as intended.

Ubuntu it's a desktop oriented distro, so it's obvious it needs desktop oriented tools. You need a complex RDP/remote communication for your GUI? fine, install a distro that uses X11 instead of wayland. You need some specific dsp tools that require using your soundcard in a way that Pulse Audio doesn't? Use a distro where it's not installed by default.

But please, at least for once, just give me a linux distro where I shouldn't be scared to hell at the idea of using an external display because I've no idea how Xorg / DRI / GDM / GNOME / Kernel drivers could react to its presence (or just between them); where the idea that using a GUI open a file on a multimedia device is not an act against god. A distro where "standby" and "suspend" shouldn't be considered some crazy man words because, you know, integrating a working, desktop oriented system inside the kernel could adversely affect the performance on 32 cores workstations. Heck, a distro where the whole Kernel Driver->ALSA->Pulse->gstreamer->SDLAudio->WhoKnowsWhatElse is not required because i'm not trying to run a dedicated shoutcast server and at the same time trying to record the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra on a 96 tracks mixer, but I'm just trying to play a fucking, miserable mp3.

Fedora, OpenSuSE, SimplyMepis, Debian... (2)

TheSeatOfMyPants (2645007) | about 2 years ago | (#40342781)

I had the same attitude as you 2.5 years ago as I'd fallen for all of the hype, and almost went back to Windows when fed up with Ubuntu's flaws rather than give the other distros a try. I finally decided to at least try a few, and found they were just as easy to use as Ubuntu -- but a lot more stable and usually far more likely to listen to lowly users like me. Don't believe the FUD, Ubuntu isn't any more user friendly than other distros, and in many ways it's less so...

Hopefully they start selling apps soon (1)

HangingChad (677530) | about 2 years ago | (#40338577)

It would be better if developers could sell the apps as well. I paid for Corel AfterShot Pro because it ran on Ubuntu and it rocks. Hopefully Canonical will adopt app store type pricing. It would be a whole new market for app developers.

Lost the mobo on my Ubuntu machine and have been limping along on Windows 7 lately. Swearing the whole time because nothing is in the right place, everything is clunky and lacks the polish of Ubuntu. Windows is at least tolerable with Chrome, but it's still second place imho.

Re:Hopefully they start selling apps soon (4, Informative)

Merk42 (1906718) | about 2 years ago | (#40339215)

You can sell apps on the Ubuntu Software Center and have been able to for some time.

Re:Hopefully they start selling apps soon (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#40339495)

Well then they need to advertise this fact better.

As a venue for highlighting interesting showcase applications, the Ubuntu Software Center sucks. This goes triple for the commercial stuff.

Just goes to show that a great idea isn't anything without a proper execution.

Re:Hopefully they start selling apps soon (3, Informative)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about 2 years ago | (#40341421)

Have you used the Software Center in 12.04? I think it's both easy to navigate and slick looking. There amount of things available for purchase have increased greatly over the last two releases.

Re:Hopefully they start selling apps soon (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about 2 years ago | (#40343225)

When was the last time you used it? These days it looks very shiny, reminiscent of Steam, including a "featured" advertising bar, a "what's new" bar, and am optional "recommended for you" section (I actually preferred it back when it was a bit more utilitarian, but I certainly do appreciate all the extra features). The front page is now mostly paid programmes, and it's possible to filter by "for purchase". If you just filter by category, it contains both free and paid for programmes in the result. All programmes give you "similar to this" recommendations, and user reviews.

Basically- I disagree with you. I think it's a fairly slick bit of software these days, comparable with Steam and Impulse (I haven't used the Apple's iTunes programme for so long I don't know how it compares- but I remember it used to be borderline unusable back in the day).

MS, Apple, Canonical Shills - Can Has Real News? (0)

ilikenwf (1139495) | about 2 years ago | (#40338601)

I swear, I can't look at the front page without seeing at least 2-3 shill stories for Microsoft or Ubuntu/Canonical.

I just really don't care about or for Ubuntu. If starting off a relative on Linux, I'd probably use pure XFCE debian, or possibly mint...but I mean, seriously...please, can we get some real news other than Apple, Microsoft, and Canonical pimping themselves and bashing each other?

Re:MS, Apple, Canonical Shills - Can Has Real News (2)

busyqth (2566075) | about 2 years ago | (#40338719)

If starting off a relative on Linux, I'd probably use pure XFCE debian, or possibly mint...

Well if I were starting off a relative on Linux, I'd give them a printout of the source code and a computer with freedos installed and tell them to get at it.
If they're not willing to put in any effort, they don't have any business using Linux.

Re:MS, Apple, Canonical Shills - Can Has Real News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40338767)

Come on; GP was probably just saying Unity sucks.
Me, I set my relatives up with Kubuntu. I've already done it twice.

Re:MS, Apple, Canonical Shills - Can Has Real News (1)

armanox (826486) | about 2 years ago | (#40338799)

You start them off with a computer? I give them a pick and send them to the mines to get the ore...

Re:MS, Apple, Canonical Shills - Can Has Real News (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#40339375)

You start them off with a computer? I give them a pick and send them to the mines to get the ore...

Too generous; I tell my fams to start by cutting down a tree with their bare hands, convert the logs into planks (again with their bare hands), then combine the planks to make a workbench...

Re:MS, Apple, Canonical Shills - Can Has Real News (2, Funny)

shaunbr (563633) | about 2 years ago | (#40338935)

You might as well start your relatives on Arch, or with an assembler and instructions to write all their own code.

There's a reason that Linux hasn't taken hold on the desktop, and it's because the developers and users are all out of touch with the needs of the average end user. Your relatives want something easy to use, not some purist's idea of the 'Perfect Linux'.

Re:MS, Apple, Canonical Shills - Can Has Real News (1)

busyqth (2566075) | about 2 years ago | (#40338999)

You might as well start your relatives on Arch, or with an assembler and instructions to write all their own code.

An assembler? Pure luxury!
Did Roy Nutt have an assembler when he started? Oh no!
But he was a hacker and not a loser.

Real Relatives Use Linux (3, Insightful)

Foresto (127767) | about 2 years ago | (#40341337)

That's a bit pessimistic, don't you think? My mom uses linux and has far fewer troubles than she did when she was using Windows. Face it: most of what our relatives do with their computers takes place within a web browser, and browsers behave pretty much the same on linux as they do on other operating systems.

Re:Real Relatives Use Linux (1)

Foresto (127767) | about 2 years ago | (#40341351)

...well, with one major exception: browsers running on Linux don't tend to infect the system with tons of malware.

Re:MS, Apple, Canonical Shills - Can Has Real News (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about 2 years ago | (#40343235)

You know this site is (at least nominally) a news site primarily about Linux and programming, right? And you realise that Ubuntu still is the single most popular Linux distribution, right? So don't you think that when the main backer behind the biggest Linux distribution announces a programming contest with quite nice prizes might qualify as relevant news for this website?

Also- bugger off. Don't read it if you're not interested.

Cheap labor (2)

Iniamyen (2440798) | about 2 years ago | (#40339085)

$900 laptop for 3 weeks @ 40 hrs/week is $7.50/hr. Not bad!

Re:Cheap labor (3, Informative)

Exrio (2646817) | about 2 years ago | (#40340363)

You know that the app you submit for the contest doesn't have to be free as in beer, right? The only requirement is that it's open source, but it can be paid-for (to be sold at the Ubuntu Software Centre). The rules explicitly say this.

Re:Cheap labor (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about 2 years ago | (#40343297)

Depending on the specs, the laptop could be worth more than $900 (that model is $900 with the absolute lowest hardware options, about $2000 for top spec). Top prize also includes a Nokia N9 phone, which is what, $400? And I doubt most people are going to spend 40 hours a week for the full three weeks working on this. Lets say 1 hour a day for about three weeks is 20 hours work, I'd say that's not a bad little prize for an amateur's competition.

As sibling poster pointed out, there's also no reason you can't go on to sell your programme for cash once the competition is done. Ubuntu Software Centre only takes 20% of the sale price for themselves, which is less than the 30% taken by Apple App Store and Android Market.

It seems that Slashdotters just love crying (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40339371)

MS brings computing to the masses and everyone gets pissed and cries.

Apple keeps the computing race flowing and everyone gets pissed and cries.

Canonical makes a move to put Linux in the mainstream of computing and everyone gets pissed and cries.

What exactly is it that you want?

- Sent from my MacBook Pro, booted in Windows 7 from a virtual machine running Ubuntu Linux - the only way to compute.

Re:It seems that Slashdotters just love crying (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#40339533)

> MS brings computing to the masses and everyone gets pissed and cries.

MS brought viruses to the masses. They didn't do squat to bring computing the masses. The best they could do was ride IBM's coat tails and screw things up every step of the way.

Microsoft did it's best to DESTROY the companies that brought computing to the masses: Apple included.

Re:It seems that Slashdotters just love crying (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40342519)

lol.. keep telling yourself that. Microsoft made products that people overwhelming made a choice in purchasing over their competition. Nobody gets to where they are through "luck" or by accident. Now I know.. you anti-ms trolls are going to cry about anti-trust and what not, but that is irrelevant. They first *got* a monopoly before they abused it. You don't get that without giving people what they want. Period. You are a delusional idiot if you believe otherwise.

MS popularized the x86 platform into a commodity. Without that Linux would never have gained any traction at all. Without that you would have 10 different hardware platforms and 20 different OS's each with 5-10% market share like it was before x86 became a commodity platform. If you thought cross platform development was hard now, have fun debugging and shipping code on 20 different platforms. Oh.. and your PC would also cost like $15,000. Linux fans should thank MS if anything. You guys are so ungrateful.

Re:It seems that Slashdotters just love crying (2)

garaged (579941) | about 2 years ago | (#40341191)

If you want to spend hundreds of millions USD to publicize Linux be my guest, but please dont turn linux into windows or mac

Re:It seems that Slashdotters just love crying (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about 2 years ago | (#40343311)

The beauty of Linux is that even if one distro does something that gets on your nerves, there are others to choose from. Don't like Ubuntu? Go Mint, Fedora, SUSE, Debian, Gentoo, Slackware...

If Canonical want to turn Ubuntu into a Mac clone, they can knock themselves out. It might even work for them. For those that don't want a Mac clone, they can just not use it.

Re:It seems that Slashdotters just love crying (1)

garaged (579941) | about 2 years ago | (#40343993)

The part that scares me a little bit is that idea that they can convert the linux community into a similar one to the apple or windows one, I have seen a few apps that are free on android and commercial on iOS, it does has some sense, since iOS requieres a payed license to push apps into their store, but still is kind of weird that we have to pay for the same free app in the other app store.

Also, since I do not develope for living, it's dificult for me to understand a recent tendence from some developers pushing for commercialization, even of linux apps, I understand that people need to get something to eat every once in a while, but I have seen at least one developer to state that "if you do not contribute to Linux you should not have the right to use it", that is scary, and is happening more and more

I read 'shutdown'... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40339443)

... but then read it again. Bummer, it's so close!

Why give away N9s to all winners? (2)

slinches (1540051) | about 2 years ago | (#40339929)

Is this a sign they are working on something for MeeGo/Harmattan or the N9 hardware? Or is it just that they had a bunch they wanted to get rid of?

Re:Why give away N9s to all winners? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40343103)

It is also funny, because N9 only officially supports Qt. :) There is a community GTK port though.

Re:Why give away N9s to all winners? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40349195)

No Hildon support?!
Bah, I would rather stay with my Android phone. Those old Maemo days that were good...

Re:Why give away N9s to all winners? (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about 2 years ago | (#40343313)

My guess is that it's because it's the only mainstream phone that runs Linux (not counting Android). Which is a sad, sad thing in and of itself.

Sounds desperate to me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40342369)

Ubuntu keeps falling further behind Fedora, so I guess they need something to bribe people to use it.

Linux Needs Unique Apps That People Love (2)

assertation (1255714) | about 2 years ago | (#40343535)

I think this contest is a great idea. Linux needs apps that are unique to Linux that people love.

It seems like every other OS has some, that people miss when they leave that platform and maybe find a sustitute that isn't quite the same thing.

There are no apps like that on Linux for me. My main apps are apps that run answhere: Firefox, Visual Slickedit, Eclipse, Gmail Chat.

The closest I've come to feeling enthusiastic about a linux desktop app is the KDE file manager Dolphin. With just a few easy preferences choices I was able to make it into something very much like Total Commander on Windows, but in some ways better. I love the convenience of the Places panel for quickly finding mounted drives

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