Hey everyone! I’m Cassidy from elementary. If you don’t know, our flagship products are elementary OS, an open source Linux-based OS built on many of the same technologies as GNOME—and AppCenter, an open source pay-what-you-want app store for indie developers.
We’ve long been in contact with and working alongside/together all of the awesome folks from GNOME, Flatpak, and Flathub. Recently at GUADEC and then the latest Linux App Summit we got to talking to folks about a Flatpak store dashboard: basically, a place developers can easily log in and submit apps, along with a place trusted reviewers/maintainers can log in and manage said apps. We already have a well-received version of this for AppCenter, but AppCenter is currently built around Debian packages. Ideally, AppCenter would be reworked around Flatpak, flat-manager and maybe even the linux-store-frontend/backend.
We plan to tackle this by hosting an in-person development sprint to build a new version of our AppCenter Dashboard, and my hope is that we can build it in a way that is easily usable by Flathub as well as AppCenter. We may be “competitors” in that we are both shipping app stores, but our approaches to curation and platform integration are complimentary; elementary frequently directs both users and developers to Flathub, and we’ve made it extremely easy to use Flathub on elementary OS. We might as well not duplicate efforts on a developer dashboard.
I guess this post in summary is to let the Flathub community know what’s coming from elementary, and to officially invite collaboration. We are currently in the design and documentation stages, which are heavily based on our existing AppCenter Dashboard that we’ve been shipping to developers and that we briefly demoed at LAS. I will plan to get links to a spec and some designs shared here once we have them more in order, but hopefully we can work through any questions or ideas right here on the Discourse.
Edit: we’ve launched a fundraiser to help pay for the development sprint. If you want to see a Flatpak store dashboard happen sooner rather than later, we’d love your support—even just sharing on social media can be a huge help. Thanks!