This is not strictly a question and if it does not meet the criteria for entries on AskUbuntu, it should be deleted. However, I have been thinking on this for a while and thought this would be the best place to get the most eye balls on it.

I believe Ubuntu is on to something truly unique with the whole lenses and scopes idea. There has been a surge of third party lenses and scopes for doing all sorts of things over the past few months and I believe this is only the beginning. However, one major hindrance is the fact that there is no easy way to discover and install the lenses. One has to follow Ubuntu blogs to find out about them, and then add their individual ppa's in order to be able to install them.

I suggest that a section should be created for them on the Ubuntu Software Center and the USC can even feature some of them from time to time in order to provide much needed visibility for the third party lenses.

  • You're not asking anything really, a feature? maybe? this doesn't go here. The title is ok bu then you just state your opinion about the lenses not being included in the USC. I'd say if you happen to know about Ubuntu you would search about it, finding blogs and forums, etc. along the way, if someone offers you to try it said person should also be available when you have a question, the point is they're not in the USC because AFAIK lenses are a plus, an extra that Unity offers to those who use it, not a default option. Feb 22, 2012 at 23:45
  • Perhaps posting on brainstorm.ubuntu.com would be better.
    – Panther
    Feb 22, 2012 at 23:49

1 Answer 1


(I've retitled your question a bit to make it more answerable, I hope that's ok, normally I think this kind of question is too speculative but you just happened to ask when this is being actively worked on.)

The answer right now is that this is a work in progress and right now the Application Review Board and Technical Board need to make some decisions and there is no answer yet and these meetings haven't even occurred yet, but I think your question is valid and there should be a way to do that.

Ideally of course you'd want to have lenses just available in the software center instead of a huge list of lenses. This needs a few things fixed in the processes in Ubuntu to make it happen:

  • Lenses in particular tie into APIs for web services, these can change at any time, so you can't really package them in the normal archive as they could totally change.
  • So we'd like to see lenses submitted via developer.ubuntu.com so that they can be decoupled from the Ubuntu release process. This would allow the lens developers to update their lenses without having to care about Ubuntu distribution policies.
  • Ubuntu as a project hasn't really done this kind of thing before so our governance structures and developer workflows aren't set up for this, though it's something we want to fix and are actively working towards.

(I'll update this answer when I have more information)

  • Thanks for the answer. This question also was in my mind for several days. Maybe some app that searches for already approved Lenses and the user can download/install them from there. Solves security issues and easily implemented for end users... like me ;) Feb 23, 2012 at 0:43
  • Thanks for the answer. I can rest easy knowing that it is under the purview of the Ubuntu Developers. Look forward to seeing what decisions are made.
    – muyiscoi
    Feb 23, 2012 at 19:24

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