Canonical Announces Ubuntu Application Review Process, No Room For Closed Source Applications!

In yet another attempt at making it big with Ubuntu Software Center, Canonical announces new Ubuntu application review process. Canonical claims that the new process will make it easier and more accessible for application authors to get their apps in Ubuntu.

Ubuntu Software Center

Brand New Ubuntu Application Review Process
Like a week ago, we had a full review of heavily upgraded Ubuntu 10.10 Software Center. It looks like Canonical is not done with Ubuntu Software Center yet. Canonical today announced a new simplified  application review process which will make it easier for application developers to get their apps into Ubuntu Software Center.

Canonical have formed a community-driven Application Review Board that is committed to providing high quality reviews of applications submitted by application authors to ensure they are safe and work well. Below are some of the criterion put together by review board.
  • Only new applications that are not present in an existing official Ubuntu repository (such as main/universe) are eligible in this process.
  • No other software can depend on the application being submitted (e.g. development libraries are not eligible), only executable applications (and content that is part of them) are eligible.
  • Applications must be Open Source and available under an OSI approved license.
Denying closed source applications complete access to Software Center is not an ideal move in my opinion. Most of the wireless and graphics drivers we use in Ubuntu are closed source anyway. This may hamper the growth of paid applications in Ubuntu since paid applications are mostly closed source at present.

But there is another perspective you should consider. Think about it. Ubuntu already have some 12 million users(approx) already and if Ubuntu continues to grow like this, completely denying access to closed source applications may actually kick start development of open source applications(both paid and non-paid) in a big way. This is still very much a hypothetical scenario of course, but quite possible.

Meanwhile, take a look at the Application Review Process put together by Canonical. And let us know your take on this.

Update: As Gerry has pointed out in the comments, "There will be proprietary apps in ubuntu, however they will not go through this process." Thank you Gerry for the clarification.