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Ubuntu courts apps with new developer site

The team behind the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution has announced a new site which aims to encourage application developers to create or port software specifically for Ubuntu: the Ubuntu App Developer site.

Announced by community member David Planella, the Ubuntu App Developer site aims to provide the resources required for coders to either create new apps specifically for Ubuntu or port existing apps across to the platform.

The site, which includes getting started guides, reference documentation, tutorials and a fast route to publish in the Ubuntu Software Centre, is designed to support open source and proprietary application development, with coders free to list their software on the service for a fee if they so desire.

In many respects, the Ubuntu App Developer site mimics the Intel AppUp service, launched to encourage development of software for the company's line of low-power Atom processors. While AppUp hasn't been a great success, however, Ubuntu App Developer has a key feature on its side: integration.

By tying in with the Ubuntu Software Centre, which is an application store built in to all Ubuntu distributions and many of its derivatives, Ubuntu is able to offer developers an captive audience of users who will be interested in installing new software.

An increased developer ecosystem also translates into an increased userbase: by convincing coders to create Ubuntu-specific applications, the distribution gains a key selling point over its numerous rivals in the desktop Linux market.

"This is just the beginning," Planella claims in his summary. "For all its current awesomeness, we are aware that the site needs to pass the test of a wider audience, adapt to their needs, and grow. Expect more discussions at the next Ubuntu Developer Summit in Orlando, Florida, where any community member can participate and contribute to the discussion of the future plans for the site."

Reception to the site has been mixed: while many see it as a positive move, others are concerned about Ubuntu's apparent desire to increase - rather than address - the fragmentation suffered by the wide and varied world of Linux.

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