Software Centre Gone. What next?

Given that the current Ubuntu Software Centre isn’t fit for purpose (and discussed ad nauseum so I won’t link to the other discussions), I haven’t seen much discussion on what should happen next. Should it be:

  1. Improve the existing Software Centre. It works but has a few flaws. Some love and attention will make it better.
  2. Use another project’s software centre application.
  3. Write an entirely new application and make one converged application for phone, tablet and desktop.
  4. Make a helper application for and make the experience much more web based and search engine discoverable.
  5. Something else. Please elaborate on what other option I haven’t thought of.

Personally I would like to see a copy of APP Store from Apple but I would expect people to tell me to go use OSX then :slight_smile:

My understanding is regular Ubuntu is switching to Gnome software.

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Indeed, Gnome Software Centre is replacing it in 16.04. This is interesting, as it is similar (in UI terms) to AppGrid, which is an optional install in Ubuntu MATE 15.10 …

I see that Brasero and Empathy are also being given the push. The second is no surprise, as Pidgin has taken over, but there will presumably have to be a replacement for the first (which isn’t being updated - its version number is still 3.12 in Gnome 3.18). Possibly xfburn.

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They are, but I’m not sure if this is permanent of a stopgap until Canonical finds/develops something better. I’m not sure how well Gnome Software will support existing purchases, integrate with the rest of the desktop or work with other desktops, MATE included.

Providing that GNOME Software with the extra plugins from Canonical are compatible woth Ubuntu MATE, I’ll be adopting it.


I know this is probably negative to ask, but what if it isn’t?

The current way of having to visit MATE Welcome to get software centre wants me to download package outside of repositories which seems bad and it also doesn’t seem like something basic user would know if they just closed the welcome or didn’t click the right things.

GNOME Software seems nice to me.

Is there any place where status of GNOME Software can be followed with upstream Ubuntu or Ubuntu MATE? I just now learned that GNOME Software deprecated the Software Centre as Google Now suggested me to read article about it.

I agree that this isn't obvious and could be improved. Welcome currently serves as a selection to let new users install common software familiar to them and discover software they didn't know about and will find useful.

What's different is that Welcome adds trusted external repositories packaged directly from the authors of the software (where applicable). Sometimes containing newer versions then Ubuntu's repositories, which can at times be a few versions behind, leading to new users asking where the newer features or bug fixes are.

If I was polled, I'd have both Synaptic and GNOME Software Centre together so the distro fully serves both package management and a nice graphical frontend for software -- be it GNOME Software Centre or another utility.

Otherwise, perhaps a ":arrow_down: Get More Software" should be added to the System → Administration menu that opens directly to Welcome's software page and give users a choice.

About GNOME Software Centre being deprecated, I don't believe that's so. It's replacing Ubuntu Software Centre that's for sure.

That is what I tried to say, but that stray is came from somewhere. Fixed.

And I forgot to reply to this. I am concerned on it opening a web browser and wanting to download, even if it's "trusted external repository", you are only trusting the SSL certificate to belong to Launchpad and not granted by compromised CA (however unlikely that is). When you download from repositories, gpg signatures are verified.

@Mikaela I don't recall Welcome ever opening a web browser to download software. If it is, please report that as a bug. Feel free to check the source code for this here and here if you need assurance of what PPAs are being used and how each software is added. Keys are being imported so that the integrity of the packages are verified, otherwise without them (or an invalid pair), there will be an error when installing.

Essentially, it's a similar process if you are to add repositories from a terminal.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xxxxxxxx

It appears that the install button and clicking the icon do different things and clicking the icon instead of install (which I imagine basic user could do too) opens a web browser.

That’s normal behaviour. Originally it was just the icon to open a webpage to learn more, whereas I added the :information_source: button to do the same thing since being able to learn more wasn’t obvious by clicking an icon.

To prevent any possible confusion, I’ll remove the links on the icons. Ubuntu MATE Welcome will have a newer experience in 16.04.