Many upstream applications are changing their application ID from something like
org.gnome.Boxes.desktop so they can be packaged as flatpaks. Where upstream doesn’t yet have this, we rewrite the desktop file in flatpak-builder so it can be packaged and deployed safely. However, more and more upstreams are building flatpaks and thus more and more apps seem to be changing desktop ID every month.
This poses a problem for the ODRS review system: When we query using the reverse-DNS-style we don’t match the hundreds of reviews submitted against the old ID. This makes the application look bad, and users file bugs against GNOME Software saying it’s broken either because “no reviews are showing up”, or that “a previously 5 star application with 30 reviews is now 2 stars with just one review”.
This also happens when companies get taken over, or when the little toy project moves from a hosting site to a proper home, e.g.
So, what can we do? AppData (again) to the rescue. Adding the following XML to the file allows new versions of gnome-software to do the right thing; we then get reviews and ratings for both the old and new names.
<provides> <id>old-name.desktop</id> </provides>
If you renamed your application in the last couple of years, I’d love you to help out and add this tag to your
.appdata.xml file – in all supported branches if possible. I can’t promise cookies, but your application will have more reviews and that can’t be a bad thing. Thanks!