Frikin’ Awesome Apps (without AppData)

In GNOME Software, we show a list of applications for each category that we think are frikin’ awesome. Some have AppData, and some don’t. For the ones that don’t yet have AppData it leaves the responsibility of writing the long description to the Linux community, where we can push the data back to upstream so that all the distributions can benefit. So far we’ve had a superb reaction from lots of upstream projects.

For Fedora 20 we want all the awesome apps to have AppData, so users can evaluate the application before installing it. It would add a really nice bit of polish to the whole experience. If you can spare 5 minutes and want to help, I’ve got another shared document here.

The list of awesome-but-unloved apps is: audacity, ardour2, gnome-banshee, rosegarden, sound-juicer, doom, openarena, xonotic, tremulous, btanks, frozen-bubble, quadrapassel, neverball, gnomine, wesnoth, supertuxkart, redeclipse, lyx, gparted, virt-manager, eclipse, gitg, monodevelop, blender, shotwell, octave, saoimage, workrave, celestia, polari, pidgin, chromium, pitivi, vlc and openshot. If you want to add any other apps there, please feel free, although I would much prefer the AppData file to go upstream if you’re a contributor or maintainer of a project. Remember, we can’t feature applications on the front page that don’t have AppData, so that’s an added incentive. I’d love to expose more people to blender for instance.

There’s no way I can do all this myself for Fedora 20, so I really need your help. Again. Thanks.

AppData Validation Tool Update

There’s a new version of the AppData validation tool, now with all the reported bug fixed, and a lot of new tests added.

Get it while it’s hot, appdata-tools-0.1.2.tar.xz or I’ve built Fedora RPMs too.

Please yell if you think you’ve written a valid file, and it fails to validate using the tool. We’re now being a lot more strict on things like formatting and the length of paragraphs. Thanks!


GNOME Software on MATE and XFCE

Hi all.

tl;dr: If you want to run GNOME Software on MATE or XFCE you need to set an environment variable like GNOME_SOFTWARE_COMPATIBLE_PROJECTS=MATE,GNOME,XFCE

Long version: In the software application we have the problem where applications have the same name and summary, but are targeted against different desktops. We know when an app targets a specific desktop from the AppStream metadata (which currently uses a heuristic from the .desktop file) so we could filter these out client side. At the moment searching for notes gives you two similarly looking results results provided by two different applications: bijiben (GNOME) and xfce4-notes (XFCE). Also, because of the shared history, a lot of the MATE applications have the same name as the GNOME ones. This makes bad UI.

The default is GNOME_SOFTWARE_COMPATIBLE_PROJECTS=GNOME (well, it is gnome-software after-all…) but if you want to show MATE projects and hide the core GNOME ones, just use a setting of MATE. If you want XFCE, GNOME and MATE apps to show, just use MATE,GNOME,XFCE.

As usual, comments and suggestions welcome.

AppData validation tool

A upstream maintainers have contacted me about some kind of validation tool for AppData files. I’ve spent a couple of days creating and then packaging appdata-tools which includes the appdata-validate command. This returns non-zero if there are any syntax or style issues with the AppData file.

I’d appreciate it if a few people could try it out before I start running it in the compose tool. There are already a few failures with the new builds in Fedora 20 Alpha RC3. If you’d rather install a package, I’ve just built it for rawhide, F20 and F19.

Comments and suggestions welcome.

My application isn’t showing in the GNOME Software Center!

First, don’t panic, it’s not some big secret agenda, or any kind of Swedish conspiracy. The Fedora AppStream generator ignores your application if:

  • There is no Name or Comment in the desktop file. You need both.
  • There is no application icon, or if the application icon is missing or less than 32×32 in size
  • Your desktop file has NoDisplay=true
  • Your desktop file does not have Type=Application
  • Your application ID or package file name has been blacklisted.
  • Your application is really just a settings panel
  • Your application isn’t available in fedora or fedora-updates for F20

If you see anything in GNOME Software that you think should not be there, let me know and we can review it. Note, for Fedora 21, i.e. not the Fedora release about to happen they’ll be one extra point where we will disqualify applications:

  • Your application does not contain a .appdata.xml file with at least one screenshot.

So that’s 6 months to get your AppData files upstream before we get all strict. Go!

Another request to the community for AppData details

Do you use or maintain or use any of these application:

Evince, GNOME Calculator, gucharmap, GNOME Clocks, GNOME Dictionary, GNOME Documents, Empathy, Evolution, Nautilus, GNOME Font Viewer, Glade, DevHelp, Eye of GNOME, GNOME Screenshot, Sound Converter, GNOME System Monitor, GNOME Terminal, GNOME Tweak Tool, Totem, Epiphany, XChat, LibreOffice Calc, LibreOffice Draw, LibreOffice Base, LibreOffice Impress, or LibreOffice Writer.

If you can spare 10 minutes to write a three paragraph long description, and fill in the homepage URL I would be very grateful. GNOME Software will look all the more awesome for your contribution.

Just go to the shared document and fill in any details you know. Thanks!

Broken .desktop files

Do you maintain or have commit access or one of these applications:

  • echomixer
  • envy24control
  • hdspconf
  • hdspmixer
  • hwmixvolume
  • alsamixergui
  • brasero
  • camorama
  • cheese
  • clementine
  • cutecw
  • easytag
  • flumotion-admin
  • fmtools
  • gimmix
  • gmpc
  • gnaural
  • gnomad2
  • gnome-chord
  • gnome-scale
  • gnomebaker
  • gqradio
  • grip
  • gtk-recordmydesktop
  • gtkpod
  • gtkwhiteboard
  • guitarix
  • gxine
  • idjc
  • isomaster
  • gnome-istanbul
  • jack-rack
  • kover
  • ladi-system-tray
  • lash-panel
  • lingot
  • nxtvepg
  • oxine
  • pencil
  • pianobooster
  • picard
  • pitivi
  • qt-recordmydesktop
  • qv4l2
  • rhythmbox (bug filed)
  • seq24
  • sonata
  • soundconverter
  • sweep
  • themonospot-gtk
  • themonospot-qt
  • v4l2ucp
  • vkeybd

If your application is listed here, it will not be in the GNOME Software center as the .desktop file has AudioVideo but not Audio or Video. If you’ve got an app that plays music, you want to have at least “AudioVideo;Audio;” or if you’ve got an app that deals with audio and video you want at least “AudioVideo;Video;Audio;”. The freedesktop menu specification is a little odd in this regard.

If you fix this before 3.10.0 then it’ll magically work in the new software center.