After reading the Ubuntu App Showdown subreddit, getting a few pings on G+ and IRC, it seems there are some showdown participants concerned about whether their app made it on time for the contest.

So here’s a quick heads up: don’t worry, if your app was submitted to MyApps on time, and complied with the contest requirements, it made it to the contest. If some of the requirements were not met, we’ve probably contacted you and given you a chance to meet them, as we appreciate the hard work you’ve put these last 3 weeks, and we want you to get in.

Some of you have noticed there is a Trello board the Ubuntu App Review Board and their contributors have been using to track progress on app reviews. Some of the apps are still not in there simply because of the overwhelmingly positive response and the work it takes to process the about 150 contest submissions we got. About 90% of them are valid, and while it might take us a bit more than expected to process them, it is a very pleasant problem to have, to be honest :).

We’re currently finishing off the list of qualified apps and setting up the voting infrastructure, so we’ll publish the list of apps on the Ubuntu App Developer blog very soon.

In any case, good work to all of you who’ve participated. You’ve made it. In only 3 weeks you’ve gone from idea to a finished app using the Free Software tools Ubuntu puts on your hands. It is amazing, and even more for those of you who were new to app development in Ubuntu. I hope you’ve had fun and learnt a lot. Good luck with your apps during the jury vote!

Looking forward to start voting on all your awesome apps!

Image Don’t Panic Badge Attribution Some rights reserved by Jim Linwood

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You’ve probably read it in the news: as part of the ongoing initiative to make Ubuntu a target for app developers, we proudly announced the Ubuntu App Showdown contest last week.

The way it works is simple and the rules are well documented, so I won’t go into the details: in short, you’ve got 3 weeks to create a new app, submit it to MyApps and you can win awesome prizes, including 2 laptops from system76 and a many many Nokia N9 smartphones from the Qt project. So if you’ve always wanted to start application development in Ubuntu, that’s a unique opportunity!

So here’s a reminder that the Ubuntu App Showdown is officially starting today, and you’ve got until the 9th July 2012 to create and submit a cool app according to the rules.

Starting also today, we’ve got a series of app developer workshops to help you get started with writing your app. Coming up:

Monday 18th June

Session Time
Intro to Python (part 1) 15:00 UTC
Intro to Python (part 2) 16:00 UTC
Getting started with Quickly 17:00 UTC
Intro to Gtk 3/GObject 18:00 UTC
Getting started with Glade 19:00 UTC

Some other important points:

I’m personally very excited about the contest. It’s been great to see lots of questions and positive reactions over the weekend and I’m really looking forward to see lots of awesome apps coming into the Ubuntu Software Centre!

Just a heads up that in about 15 minutes, and as part of the Ubuntu Open Week, I’ll be talking about how to submit apps to the Software Centre.

So if you’re either interested in learning how to do it, or if you want to ask any questions, join me on IRC in the #ubuntu-classroom channel on Freenode.

See you there!

Announcing the Ubuntu App Developer site

Monday, September 26, 2011

I’m thrilled to announce the launch of a significant milestone in the ongoing effort of making Ubuntu a target for app developers: the new Ubuntu App Developer site.

Developer.ubuntu.com should now be the central point of reference for any topics related to application development. From creation to publication: porting, sharing, contributing, finding information… a site that should grow organically to provide the tools, share the knowledge and act as the springboard to foster app proliferation and developer community growth in this exciting area.

Embracing the concept that for sustainable business development and wider adoption Ubuntu should provide the ability to purchase apps as well as to install open source software for free, the site has been developed with that exact idea in mind. In that regard, developer.ubuntu.com has been built upon the foundations of existing tools such as the Ubuntu Software Centre and My Apps to offer a unified and consistent journey for both open-source, non-commercial and commercial app authors.

A quick walk through the App Developer site

All sections of the site have been carefully designed upon research and user testing to provide a simple yet intuitive journey to app developers, from software creation to publication and distribution in the Ubuntu Software Centre. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Get started – an introduction to the recommended tools and the workflow for Ubuntu app development, including a video to kickstart new developers in less than five minutes.
  • Resources – a growing directory of resources to support app development in Ubuntu: reference documentation, guides, tutorials and more.
  • Publish – a simple guide to app publication in the Ubuntu Software Centre, including an extensive FAQ on how to publish commercial applications.
  • Community – the place to get involved, share and actively participate within a network of like-minded developers, including the app developer blog.
  • My Apps – an online tool to enable app developers go straight from a finished app to the Software Centre, making publication a seamless process.

Big thanks

In this project I’ve had the privilege of working with the Web Design team, who essentially made the site happen. It’s been a fun ride, and they’ve produced a truly stunning result in a very tight schedule. To them, and to many Canonicalers and other members of the Ubuntu family go the thanks for making developer.ubuntu.com possible.

Next steps

This is just the beginning. For all its current awesomeness, we are aware that the site needs to pass the test of a wider audience, adapt to their needs, and grow. Expect more developer.ubuntu.com discussions at the next Ubuntu Developer Summit in Orlando, Florida, where any community member can participate and contribute to the discussion of the future plans for the site.

In the meantime, there are two easy ways in which you can already start participating:

This is a very exciting and new territory for Ubuntu, and I’m thrilled to see all the progress we’re making in this area. This is going to be awesome.

Another edition of the Ubuntu App Developer Week and another amazing knowledge sharing fest around everything related to application development in Ubuntu. Brought to you by a range of the best experts in the field, here’s just a sample of the topics they talked about: App Developer Strategy, Bazaar, Bazaar Explorer, Launchpad, Python, Internationalization, Launchpad Translations, Unity, Unity 2D, Gedit Developer Plugins, the MyApps Portal, the App Review Board, the UbuntuSoftware Centre, Unity Mail, Launchpad Daily Builds, Ubuntu One APIs, Rapid App Development, Quickly, GooCanvas, PyGame, Unity Launcher, Vala, the App Developer Site, Indicators, Python Desktop Integration, Libgrip, Multitouch, Unity Lenses, Ubuntu One Files Integration, The Business Side of Apps, Go, Qt Quick… and more. Oh my!

And a pick of what they had to say:

We believe that to get Ubuntu from 20 million to 200 million users, we need more and better apps on Ubuntu
Jonathan Lange on making Ubuntu a target for app developers

Bazaar is the world’s finest revision control system
Jonathan Riddell on Bazaar

So you’ve got your stuff, wherever you are, whichever device you’re on
Stuart Langridge on Ubuntu One

Oneiric’s EOG and Evince will be gesture-enabled out of the box
Jussi Pakkanen on multitouch in Ubuntu 11.10

I control the upper right corner of your screen 😉
Ted Gould on Indicators

If you happened to miss any of the sessions, you’ll find the logs for all of them on the Ubuntu App Developer Week page, and the summaries for each day on the links below:

Ubuntu App Developer Week – Day 5 Summary

The last day came with a surprise: an extra session for all of those who wanted to know more about Qt Quick and QML. Here are the summaries:

Getting A Grip on Your Apps: Multitouch on GTK apps using Libgrip

By Jussi Pakkanen

In his session, Jussi talked about one of the most interesting technologies where Ubuntu is leading the way in the open source world: multitouch. Walking the audience through the Grip Tutorial, he described how to add gesture support to existing applications based on GTK+ 3. He chose to focus on the higher layer of the uTouch stack, where he explained the concepts on which libgrip, the gesture library, is built upon, such as device types and subscriptions. After having explored in detail the code examples, he then revealed that in Oneiric Eye Of GNOME and Evince, Ubuntu’s default image viewer and default PDF reader, will be gesture-enabled.

Check out the session log.

Creating a Google Docs Lens

By Neil Patel

Neil introduced his session explaining the background behind Lenses: a re-architecture effort of the now superseded Places concept to make them more powerful, provide more features and make it easier to add features through a re-engineered API. Lenses create its own instance, add categories, filters and leave the searching to Scopes. The Lenses/Scopes pairs are purely requests for data, independent of the type of UI, and being provided by the libunity library, they can be written in any of the programming languages supported by GObject Introspection (Python, Javascript, C/C++, Vala, etc.). To illustrate all of this concepts, Neil devoted the rest of the session to a real example of creating a Lens for Google Docs.

Check out the session log.

Practical Ubuntu One Files Integration

By Michael Terry

Another hands-on session from Michael, with a real world example on how to supercharge apps with cloud support. Using his experience in integrating the Ubuntu One Files API to Deja Dup, the default backup application in Ubuntu, he went in detail through the code of a simple program to talk to a user’s personal Ubuntu One file storage area. We liked Michael’s session so much that it will very soon be featured as a tutorial on developer.ubuntu.com!

Check out the session log and Michael’s awesome notes.

Publishing Your Apps in the Software Center: The Business Side

By John Pugh

Ubuntu directly benefits from Canonical becoming a sustainable business to support its development, and that’s exactly what John talked about. Being responsible for business development in the Ubuntu Software Centre, he’s got a privileged  insight on how to make it happen. He started off explaining that the main goal is to present Ubuntu users with a large catalog of apps available for purchase, and then continued concentrating on how to submit paid applications to be published in the Software Centre. A simple 5-step process, the behind-the-scenes work can be summarized in: Canonical helps packaging the app, it hosts the app and provides the payment via pay.ubuntu.com, in a 80%/20% split. Other highlights include the facts that only non-DRM, non-licensed apps cannot be submitted right now, but there is ongoing work to implement license key support, and that MyApps, the online app submission portal, can take any nearly any content: apps with adverts, “free” online game clients and HTML5 apps.

Check out the session log.

Writing an App with Go

By Gustavo Niemeyer

Gustavo’s enthusiasm for Go, the new programming language created by Google shows every time you start a conversation with him on that topic. And it showed as well on this session, in which he created yet another “Hello world” application in a new language -you guessed-: Go. Along the way, he had time to describe all of the features of this new addition of the extensive family of programming languages: statically compiled with good reflection capabilities, structural typing, interfaces and more.

Check out the session log.

Qt Quick At A Pace

By Donald Carr

Closing the week on the last -and surprise- session, we had the luxury of having Donald, from the Nokia Qt team, the makers of Qt itself, to talk about Qt Quick. Using a clear and concise definition, Qt Quick is an umbrella term used to refer to QML and its associated tooling; QML being a declarative markup language with tight bindings to Javascript. A technology equally suited to mobile or to the desktop, QML enables developers to rapidly create animation-rich, pixmap-oriented UIs. Through the qtmediahub and Qt tutorial examples, he explored QML’s capabilities and offered good practices for succesfully developing QML-based projects.

Check out the session log.

Wrapping Up

Finally, if you’ve got any feedback on UADW, on how to make it better, things you enjoyed or things you believe should be improved, your comments will be very appreciated and useful to tailor this event to your needs.

Thanks a lot for participating. I hope you enjoyed it  as much as I did, and see you again in 6 months time for another week full with app development goodness!

Ubuntu App Developer Week – Day 4 Summary

Last day of UADW! While we’re watching the final sessions, here’s what happened yesterday:

Creating an App Developer Website: developer.ubuntu.com

By John Oxton and David Planella

Creating the concept and implementing a site for app developers is no easy task. The Ubuntu App Developer site is meant to be a place for app authors to get started with development, to find the information they need and to be able to publish their apps in the Software Centre. John explained all the research and user testing that happened behind the scenes, highlighting the key findings, while David focused on the purpose of the site, where it fits in the overall developer strategy for Ubuntu and the plans for the future.

Check out the session log here.

Rapid App Development with Quickly

By Michael Terry

Fitting nicely topicwise with the questions about the default choice of tools for Ubuntu development on the previous session, Michael gave an overview of what Quickly is and how to use it. Going through the workflow of creating your first app with Quickly, he demonstrated all the key commands and explained in detail all the bits in between.

Check out the session log here.

Developing with Freeform Design Surfaces: GooCanvas and PyGame

By Rick Spencer

Rick started off the session explaining what GooCanvas and PyGame were good for: providing a 2D surface on which to construct interactive GUIs for users. Beginning with GooCanvas, he showed with a very simple example how to get started playing with 2D composing surfaces, adding images, text and doing other operations such as resizing and calculating coordinates to determine clicks. Next up was PyGame, for the same purpose, but better suited for apps with lots of animation updates without user input. He then wrapped up with three samples of simple games to study.

Check out the session log here.

Making your app appear in the Indicators

By Ted Gould

Ted Gould, the man who controls the upper right corner of our screen, talked all about indicators. The idea was to illustrate how to get the information that comes from applications and handle it to the indicators. First up was the messaging menu, a menu to handle human-to-human communication, next the application indicators, which alllow long-running apps to put statuses on the panel consistently, and finally the sound indicator, taking care of all related to sound. Each one of them explained with code examples. Nice!

Check out the session log here.

Will it Blend? Python Libraries for Desktop Integration

By Marcelo Hashimoto

Marcelo shared his experience acquired with Polly, a Twitter client he developed, on using Python and libraries to let apps provide better integration to the desktop. First explaining the concept of desktop integration, stressing the fact that it’s not only about visuals. The rest of the session was structured around 3 main areas: how to send notifications to the user, where to place files read or written by an app and what to use to store sensitive information. A very clear and solid session, also with example code for easy learning.

Check out the session log here.

The Day Ahead: Upcoming Sessions for Day 4

Check out the first-class lineup for the last day of UADW:

16.00 UTCGetting A Grip on Your Apps: Multitouch on GTK apps using Libgrip

Multitouch is everywhere these days, and now on your desktop as well -brought to you by developers such as Jussi Pakkanen, who’ll guide through using libgrip to add  touch support to your GTK+ apps. Learn how to use this cool new library in your own software!

17:00 UTCCreating a Google Docs Lens

Lenses are ways of presenting data coming from different sources in Unity. Neil Patel knows Lenses inside out and will present a practical example of how to create a Google Docs one. Don’t miss this session on how to put two cool technologies together!

18:00 UTCPractical Ubuntu One Files Integration

Yet again the Deja-dup rockstar and UADW regular Michael Terry will be sharing his deep knowledge on developing apps. This time it’s about adding cloud support to applications: integrating with the Ubuntu One files API.

19:00 UTCPublishing Your Apps in the Software Center: The Business Side

Closing the series of sessions around publishing apps in the Software Centre, we’ll have the luxury of having John Pugh, from the team that brings you commercial apps into the Software Centre and who’ll be talking about the business side of things.

20:00 UTC – Writing an App with Go

Go is the coolest kid around in the world of programming languages. Gustavo Niemeyer is very excited about it and will be showing you how to write an app using this language from Google. Be warned, his enthusiasm is contagious!

20:00 UTC – Qt Quick At A Pace

A last minute and very welcome addition to the schedule. In his session Donald Carr will introduce you to Qt Quick to create applications with Qt Creator and QML, the new declarative language that brings together designers and developers.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Ubuntu App Developer Week – Day 3 Summary

Time flies and we’re already halfway through UADW, but there is still much to come! Here’s yesterday report for your reading pleasure:

Unity Mail: Webmail Notification on Your Desktop

By Dmitry Shachnev

Starting off with a description of the features of Unity Mail, such as displaying webmail unread message count, notifications and mail subjects, we then learned more about how it was developed and the technologies that were used to create it. It’s written in Python, using GObject introspection (PyGI) and integrates with Ubuntu through the Unity, Notify and Indicate modules. After describing each one in more detail, Dmitry continued talking about how the app can be translated using Launchpad, and how he uses the Bazaar  source revision control system to work with code history. Wrapping up, he went through the plans for the future: more configuration options, marking all messages as read and the need for a new icon. Any takers? 😉

Check out the session log here.

Launchpad Daily Builds and Rapid Feedback: Writing Recipe Builds

By Jelmer Vernooij

Assuming some previous knowledge on Debian packaging, in his session Jelmer walked the audience through a practical example of a basic recipe build for a small project: pydoctor. Drawing the cooking recipe analogy, package recipes are a description of the ingredients (source code branches) and how to put them together, ending up with a delicious Debian package for users to enjoy. Launchpad can build packages from recipes once or automatically on a daily basis provided the code has changed, conveniently placing the result in a PPA. In the last part of the session, he described in detail the contents of an existing recipe and added some notes on best practices when building from a recipe.

Check out the session log here.

Using the Ubuntu One APIs for Your Apps: An Overview

By Stuart Langridge

The idea bahind the Ubuntu One developer programme is to make it easy to add the cloud to your apps and make new apps for the cloud. With this opening line, Stuart delivered a talk about a high-level overview on the cool things you can do as an app developer adding Ubuntu One support. One aspect it data: for example building applications that work on the desktop, on mobile phones and on the web, securely sharing data among users. Another is music: streaming, streaming music and sharing playlists on the desktop, on mobile and from the web, all through a simple REST HTTP API. He also mentioned some examples of cloud enabled applications: Shutter and Deja-Dup, and many other interesting ways to use Ubuntu One to do exciting thigs with data. And you can get started already using the available documentation.

Check out the session log here.

Supercharging Your Apps with Unity Launcher Integration

By Jason Smith

In his talk, Jason first went through the terminology that covers the elements related to the Unity Launcher, and the bachground behind the Launcher API, implemented in the libunity library. Libunity can be used in many programming languages: Python, C, Vala and others supported by GObject Introspection. Going through what you can do with the Launcher (marking/unmarking apps as urgent, setting object counts, setting progress on objects and adding quicklist menu items to the object), he used Vala snippets to illustrate each feature with code.

Check out the session log here.

Hello Vala: An Introduction to the Vala Language

By Luca Bruno

Vala, a new programming language with C#-like syntax that compiles to C and targets the GObject type system: with a clear statement of what Vala is and what it can do, Luca, a contributor to the project introduced one by one the mostkey features of the language through his “Hello world” example: namespaces, types, classes, properties, keywords and more. As a highlight he mentioned Vala’s automatic memory management using reference counting, andits interoperability with other languages, most notably C, but it can also work with many others supported by GObject Introspection. Other cool featuresto note were also error handling on top of GError, support for async operations, closures and DBus client/server, on each of which he elaborated before finishing the session.

Check out the session log here.

The Day Ahead: Upcoming Sessions for Day 3

Another day, another awesome set of sessions coming up:

16.00 UTCCreating an App Developer Website: developer.ubuntu.com

Ubuntu 11.10 will not only bring new features to the OS itself. In time for the release we’ll be launching the new Ubuntu App Developer site, a place for developers to find all the infromation and the resources they need to get started creating, submitting and publishing their apps in Ubuntu. John Oxton, David Planella and many other people have worked to make the next developer.ubuntu.com possible and will tell you all about it.

17:00 UTCRapid App Development with Quickly

Quickly is a wrapper that pulls together all the recommended tools and technologies to bring apps from creation and through their whole life cycle in Ubuntu. With an easy set of commands that hide all the complexity for your, it effectively enables developers to follow rapid development principles and worry only about writing code. Michael Terry, from the Quickly development team will be looking forward to guide you through the first steps with this awesome tool.

18:00 UTCDeveloping with Freeform Design Surfaces: GooCanvas and PyGame

Have you ever wondered what freeform design surfaces, or canvases are? You probably have now. Well, lucky you then, because Rick Spencer will be here to tell you what they’re good for and how to get started with them 😉

19:00 UTCMaking your app appear in the Indicators

In another session on how to integrate with the platform, Ted Gould, the man who knows most about them, will describe how to add indicator features  to your apps, both in terms of panel indicators and messaging menu support.

20:00 UTC – Will it Blend? Python Libraries for Desktop Integration

You certainly will want your app to have that familiar look and feel at home in the OS it’s running on, but you’ll also want it to use all the backend technologies to integrate even deeper and provide a great user experience. Well, fear not, for Marcelo Hashimoto is here to tell you exactly how to do that!

Looking forward to seeing you all there in a few hours!

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