Sandboxed file access
Posted Sep 5, 2012 1:26 UTC (Wed) by khim
In reply to: Sandboxed file access
Parent article: Ubuntu's new app developer upload process proposal
I'm skeptical that app developers will be able to adapt to this new API and restrictions, and find it easier than just getting their app packaged the "normal" route (through Debian), which is what this proposal is attempting to sidestep.
"Usual route" is not acceptable for the wast majority of the applications. I mean commercial closed-source ones. Don't be misled by the stats which show that, e.g., most Android applications are "free": yes, they are free-as-in-beer, but that's because they include ads and these don't really fly in open-source world.
But yes, if there will be money to be had then applications developers will jump through necessary hoops. I'm skeptical too, but for a different reason: Ubuntu attracts a lot of "every app must be free!" guys thus it's not clear if there are enough money on the table to make it an attractive target for the app developers.
Other alternative (webapps) are more interesting: they make it possible to create "kind-of-native" applications by adding just a few tweaks to the existing web apps. This may fly: sure, the advantages are small, but the efforts required are small, too.
For the native apps... well, the effort to recompile everything under Linux is already huge! We've found about this the hard way: initially most NaCl developers were Linux guys, but as time goes on more and more come from MacOS and Windows world. They demand Visual Studio integration, etc. Native Client is cross-paltform so it works for us (not 100% well: core is cross-plaform, but WebGL is not so we frequently see problem with applications which were never even tested on Linux), but for Ubuntu this will be big problem: I doubt Canonical will rush to develop Visual Studio plugin any time soon.
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