Ubuntu has a new developer site to help you create, publish and market desktop apps. The only real question is why have we had to wait so long?
The site's home page states:
Ubuntu is the third most popular operating system in the world. Find out everything you need to know to start developing and publishing your apps on Ubuntu.
While the portal is new, Quickly, its recommend tool for using PyGTK to create applications for Ubuntu was first introduced in 2009. A new video explains how to use it on the site's Get Started page:
In the Resources section you'll find links to tutorials, tools and to useful APIs for C developers as well as Python developers.
Once you've built your app you can publish it to the Ubuntu store. Your app can be free or charged for - minimum price tag $2.99 of which the developer's share is 80% (i.e. 20% commission). The Ubuntu Software Center is built into all of the Ubuntu distributions and so delivers a fairly captive market to sell to. Of course the availability of a good range of apps also drives the platform into more users hands. However it has to be said that there will always be a tension in the users mind when open software acts as a platform for commercial software.
All submitted apps have to go through a review process prior to being given the status ready to publish. On the community section of the site there's a link to follow if you want to contribute by becoming a member of the Ubuntu App Review Board.
Once you have finished an app the My Apps section of the site goes to the Software Centre and provides an overview of all your submitted applications, their status (awaiting moderation/rejected/approved/published), number of downloads and earnings.
Overall, it is good that Ubuntu makes the effort to simplify the confusing mess that is the Linux development landscape - where to start, where to finish? You could almost say that even more needs to be done to bring in the non-expert.