At http://developer.ubuntu.com/publish/my-apps-packages/ the following technical requirements are cited:

Technical requirements

In order for your application to be distributed in the Software Centre it must:

  • Be in one, self-contained directory when installed
  • Be able to be installed into the /opt/ directory (*)
  • Be executable by all users from the /opt/ directory (**)
  • Write all configuration settings to ~/.config/ (This can be one file or a directory containing multiple configuration files)

A Rhythmbox plugin cannot satisfy any of these requirements. Rhythmbox has compiled-in locations where it looks for installed plugins. So, is there no way for me to publish my app in Ubuntu Software Center? Would it have to go into Universe repository (which would require tremendously more work and political maneuvering to get it accepted)? I already have all the Debian package infrastructure built for it, so I have made a PPA for it.

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    There are some exceptions accepted (e.g. for *.desktop files), so maybe this is acceptable too. And I suggest you file a bug that Rhythmbox needs a more dynamic mechanism to allow telling it to look elsewhere. – JanC Jun 9 '12 at 16:33
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    BTW: it seems like Rhythmbox plugins are in a subdirectory of /usr/lib/rhythmbox/plugins/ — did you check whether adding a symlink from there to a directory below /opt/ works? – JanC Jun 9 '12 at 16:37
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    wiki.ubuntu.com/AppReviewBoard/Review/Guidelines#Packaging lists some example exceptions – JanC Jun 16 '12 at 18:49
  • Great suggestions, @JanC, but since the package requirements say I can't add symlinks, it's no good. I could add a symlink to /usr/lib/rhythmbox/plugins from /opt, and it'd work for sure, but the BIG uncertainty is whether it would pass scrutiny by app reviewers. I'm guessing "no". – allquixotic Jul 27 '12 at 20:29

If you submit your package to the Quantal archives, and it gets accepted, then you can request to have it uploaded to the "backports" repo for Precise.

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  • Submitting it to the archives is frankly more effort than I'm willing to put in. Getting something into the least-labor-intensive level of the official package archives, Universe, looks like it would require at least 80 to 160 hours of my time up-front, and then another 40 to 80 hours of my time for every release. And that is assuming that my software is technically 99.999% perfect already and passes all the lint checks. It's just not easy. I thought USC "my-app" was supposed to be as easy as the Android app store where you package it up and it just "goes"? That's what I want. – allquixotic Jul 27 '12 at 20:23
  • BTW -- I'm perfectly willing to subject my package to basic levels of scrutiny to make sure it's not a virus, that it meets basic quality requirements and that it doesn't flat-out crash... but it seems requests for the main/universe archive are very politically motivated, like "what benefit does this provide to Ubuntu", and my package is sort of niche, so I can't really justify it on that scale, like I can't say even 50% of the users would find it useful. – allquixotic Jul 27 '12 at 20:25
  • Lastly, politics aside, isn't the point of USC's app developer channels precisely that they aren't in the main archives? If the solution to my query is "get your app in the archives", what purpose does USC my-app serve? – allquixotic Jul 27 '12 at 20:31

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