Where are the app developers?

Morten thinks he knows where the application developers are.

But it turns out that when you don’t want apps, you don’t get any app developers either. And why would we want apps? They just break when we redesign our distros every 6 months anyway.


#1 Rowan Lewis on 06.26.12 at 09:29

I’m an App developer in an ecosystem that doesn’t have proper documentation for the language I use.


So far, I have finished writing no Apps.

(Would’ve posted this on Emmanuele Bassis blog, but sadly no comments allowed.)

#2 Tijn on 06.26.12 at 10:52

Actually, I wanted to write some small apps for a long time now. On the other hand, I also don’t want to spend a lot of time managing another project that will go nowhere because my C skills are a bit rusty. Conclusion: I simply want to write quick-and-dirty apps in high level Ruby. Until today I never found out how to do that but I just found the gir_ffi gem that makes it totally easy. Let me share the link here for fellow rubyists/gnomies:


#3 eric-yorba on 06.27.12 at 00:49

Six months is way off, it’s more like three.

#4 nicu on 06.27.12 at 07:36

Application developers go where their users are, when a desktop start targeting low-level users who don’t use applications, no wonder developers are not interested.
No wonder developers go to Android, no matter how broken and fragmented it is, there the users are. At the same time, GNOME goes in the direction of simple users for which the default apps are all they need.

#5 Jan on 06.27.12 at 07:57

I think I’ll disagree with you. The reason we don’t have App developers is because the platform isn’t successful; And by any stretch of imagination. It’s not even a technical matter: Apple could get away by breaking stuff every 6 months and they’d still have all those Apps in their platform.

What drives App developers is the desire for recognition of their work and the possibility to make a profit out of it, but unlike iOS, Android, the Mac or even Windows Phone (who hit the 100k apps benchmark), GNOME doesn’t ship anywhere palpable, doesn’t feature an App store nor is in any other way very exciting.

That said, i’ll try to save the World :)

#6 Mathias Hasselmann on 06.27.12 at 20:53

Some few are there: http://www.jonobacon.org/2012/06/26/ubuntu-app-showdown-gallery-of-progress/ it seems. Maybe. But they now call them self “Ubuntu Developer”, instead of “GNOME Developer”.

#7 Juanjo on 07.01.12 at 12:25

Mathias Hasselmann: good point!

Developing an App for GNOME, if you can survive the API breakage, the missing documentation, and the difficulties to make the users aware of your work; it doesn’t solve the distribution problem.

Sice 2009 I’ve been developing/maintaining a simple app to upload pictures to Flickr and the important thing is packing. I provide packages for Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora, and it’s not that I support any specific desktop (the app is written in Perl and GTK+).

End users can’t deal with source code anymore.

That “Ubuntu Developer” thing adds something that it’s very interesting and that Gnome doesn’t cover at all: distribution!

I’m not very keen of Quickly thing, but Ubuntu it’s trying to solve the problem, so… kudos for them!