uApp Explorer: Next Steps

Published April 7, 2017 in The Voyage of a Software Developer by Brian Douglass
Filed under Uappexplorer

With the recent news that Ubuntu Touch will no longer be maintained by Canonical I’ve been doing some thinking about the future of uApp Explorer. uApp Explorer started out as a way for myself and others to see information about apps without looking on an Ubuntu device. Without a web interface to the Ubuntu store I wrote uApp Explorer around the Ubuntu Store api. With the changes to Ubuntu Touch I believe uApp Explorer needs a change so it can still be a useful tool for Ubuntu users. After some thought I believe it is best if I lay out my thoughts for the next steps with uApp Explorer.

The first change I plan to make to uApp Explorer is to reduce the aggressiveness when it comes to finding new click packages. Currently there are crons that run very frequently to check for new apps and the like. The number of new apps recently has dropped so I want to drop the frequency as well.

The second change will be to remove the wishlist section of the site. It has been able to give some great insight into the hopes and desires of Ubuntu Touch users, but I don’t believe it’s relevant any longer. I will make an export of the data that uApp Explorer has gathered and put it in the source repo for anyone who is interested.

The next change I want to make is to separate clicks and snaps. Currently snaps and clicks are merged together in uApp Explorer and this has caused some issues (including naming conflicts between clicks and snaps). Now that clicks are fully deprecated I want to bring snaps to the forefront of uApp Explorer and leave clicks as a legacy to all my fellow Ubuntu Touch developers. In order to do this I’ll be implementing a new api so that I don’t break any of my apps that depend on uApp Explorer.

After these major changes I may explore adding support for other package types to uApp Explorer (maybe flatpaks?).

I’m excited to see where this new direction takes uApp Explorer. If you want to get in touch with me about helping develop or just to chat, shoot me an email from my contact form.