> For what it's worth as someone involved in GNOME, I don't see how an *official* GNOME "application store" could work without a sustainable business model for humans to review code in order to ensure we're not shipping malware.
These are the same issues that you run into with current package distribution model.
> However, I think these previous attempts were addressing an actual need, and could be made higher quality if they were integrated into the core of the system rather than an add-on.
Unfortunately the 'merging into the system' means that you are likely to run into the same issues with current package management systems.. Namely distributions suffer from seeming irreconcilable differences and tend to create what ends up functioning like fiefdoms for little significant technical advantage over another distro's approach.
In addition to this the regulation and acceptance policies that distributions have set up for their package repositories are a major barrier of entry and bottle neck for that serves as a significant barrier between users and developers.
What is needed is a system that handles applications in a way that is distributed and offers a lot more freedom to users and developers then current practices for package management allows in Linux distributions. Also we need to have something that addresses applications and their dependencies as complete 'application units' rather then individual components. At least from a application developer and user perspective.