Creating an App Developer Website: - Instructors: dpm, johnoxton

   1 [16:01] <ClassBot> Logs for this session will be available at following the conclusion of the session.
   2 [16:01] <dpm> Welcome everyone to Day 4 of the Ubuntu App Developer Week!
   3 [16:02] <dpm> ok, so let's get started, shall we?
   4 === shadeslayer_ is now known as shadeslayer
   5 [16:03] <dpm> So hi everyone
   6 [16:03] <dpm> Again, welcome to Ubuntu App Developer Week and to this session about the App Developer _site_
   7 [16:03] <dpm> My name is David Planella, and I work on the Community team at Canonical as the Ubuntu Translations Coordinator
   8 [16:04] <dpm> While still working on translations, this cycle I've been spending some time on the app developer side of things,
   9 [16:04] <dpm> that is, contributing to the goal of making Ubuntu a target platform for application developers,
  10 [16:04] <dpm> so that they can easily create or port software in Ubuntu and they can publish it and distribute it to and grow our increasing user base.
  11 [16:05] <dpm> My main area of focus has been so far, of which we're going to talk today,
  12 [16:05] <dpm> and for this I've had the pleasure of working with the awesome web design team at Canonical.
  13 [16:05] <dpm> Co-presenting this session and representing them we've got the luxury of having John Oxton,
  14 [16:05] <dpm> who's recently joined Canonical and has been doing fantastic work in shaping up the site
  15 [16:06] <dpm> But I'll let him introduce himself best
  16 [16:06]  * dpm hands the mike to johnoxton
  17 [16:06] <johnoxton> Hi everyone, as David said, my name is John Oxton and I am a user experience architect on the web team at Canonical. I have been with the company for a few months and this is my first assignment.
  18 [16:07] <johnoxton> I will be using the word ‘we’ quite a lot as we go along and this is just a shortcut to represent a group of very busy people (inside and outside Canonical) who have given their time generously to this project, not because they have to but because they care about it deeply and believe it to be very important to the future success of Ubuntu. In that light my contributions to this project really are very 
  19 [16:07] <johnoxton> to theirs.
  20 [16:07] <johnoxton> Ok, enough with the Oscar acceptance speech, let’s get on!
  21 [16:07] <johnoxton> As has been mentioned the goal of this site is to help get more and better apps into the Ubuntu Software Centre.
  22 [16:08] <johnoxton> From the website point of view that is an interesting challenge and not one we can possibly hope achieve in one step.
  23 [16:09] <johnoxton> Where to begin?
  24 [16:09] <johnoxton> The first question really is what is an ‘app’ anyway? Is LibreOffice an app? Is Mozilla’s Thunderbird an app? What about Chromium? Skype? Firefox?
  25 [16:09] <johnoxton> Well the answer is yes and each a very good one but also advanced and relatively mature and, importantly, already on Ubuntu.
  26 [16:09] <johnoxton> The point being, for this upcoming release we aren’t really targeting developers of these kinds of apps because they are already working it out.
  27 [16:10] <johnoxton> Of course, nor is the aim to exclude them.
  28 [16:10] <johnoxton> Instead we want to start a dialogue with individuals, or small teams, with an “itch to scratch”
  29 [16:11] <johnoxton> or small indie developers/companies who are already making small, useful, or just plain cool, apps for other platforms.
  30 [16:11] <johnoxton> With that in mind we shaped two personas, and the journeys we’d expect them to make, to reflect these sorts of developers
  31 [16:11] <johnoxton> and began sketching ideas about how we thought we could encourage and support them through the app development lifecycle.
  32 [16:12] <johnoxton> For those who’ve never encountered personas, here is a brief summary from UX mag:
  33 [16:12] <johnoxton> “A persona represents a cluster of users who exhibit similar behavioral patterns in their purchasing decisions, use of technology or products, customer service preferences, lifestyle choices, and the like."
  34 [16:13] <johnoxton> You can find out more at
  35 [16:13]  * dpm mentions: before I forget, please feel free to ask any questions throughout the session, prepending them with QUESTION: on the #ubuntu-classroom-chat channel
  36 [16:14] <johnoxton> So with personas firmly in our head, this is what we sketched:
  37 [16:14] <johnoxton> To access the site: Username: developer and Password: ubuntu
  38 [16:14] <johnoxton> Please keep in mind that our focus here was on the structure of the navigation and the general concept of the site so the visual design seen here is in no way representative of the finished site.
  39 [16:14] <johnoxton> Feel free to click around, most pages are present; I’ll grab a much needed cup of tea whilst you do.
  40 [16:17] <johnoxton> Anyway, with that done we hired an independent research company to help us test this prototype.
  41 [16:17] <johnoxton> We did this because we needed someone neutral to help us really dig for what was good and what was not so good.
  42 [16:18] <johnoxton> From there we recruited a cross-section of ‘app developers’ who were developing for a variety of platforms; some professionally, some in their spare time.
  43 [16:19] <johnoxton> We ran them through the prototype you have seen, asking them about their expectations before they clicked through to different pages
  44 [16:19] <johnoxton> and also talking to them about their usual app development workflow to see if the site could be truly useful to them.
  45 [16:19] <johnoxton> David, meanwhile, ran an in-depth survey to give us some quantitative data to support or challenge what our qualitative research was suggesting.
  46 [16:20] <johnoxton> These sessions and the survey were incredibly important. They challenged all of the assumptions we had made and helped us verify that our personas were even closely matching reality.
  47 [16:20] <johnoxton> In short the response to our first prototype was fairly unanimous: We like where you are going but this isn’t right.
  48 [16:20] <johnoxton> It also started to hint that our personas were close but not quite close enough.
  49 [16:20] <johnoxton> With the first round of testing complete we went back to the drawing board and considered everything we’d learnt.
  50 [16:20] <johnoxton> So what did we learn?
  51 [16:21] <johnoxton> What came back consistently was: marketing sucks, so just stop it. I just want to ‘Get started’, tell me how to proceed.
  52 [16:21] <johnoxton> Give me an ‘Hello World!’ app to play with and I want really good documentation.
  53 [16:21] <johnoxton> Oh, and packaging, I don’t like thinking about packaging if I can help it.
  54 [16:21] <johnoxton> Just ‘Get started’, hmmmm, this is where things get challenging.
  55 [16:21] <johnoxton> Linux, and therefore Ubuntu, prides itself on having a rich, flexible development environment
  56 [16:22] <johnoxton> which is great but also has the potential for confusion for people just starting out
  57 [16:22] <johnoxton> On the back of the findings we felt we really ought to be a little more decisive and dare to be a little opinionated because without that the site won’t have the clarity it needs to attract developers to the platform.
  58 [16:22] <johnoxton> Thankfully the springboard for that was already in place in the form of Quickly (
  59 [16:22] <johnoxton> and after much debate, for now at least, we’ve put it up front.
  60 [16:23] <johnoxton> We have stated that THIS is the way to get going when developing for Ubuntu.
  61 [16:23] <johnoxton> We are aware that this might be a somewhat controversial decision to make and we have been careful to show that there are other options
  62 [16:23] <johnoxton> but Quickly delivers a route in and a good one as it elegantly stitches together classic, and very powerful, Linux development tools.
  63 [16:23] <johnoxton> Very importantly it also helps with packaging.
  64 [16:24] <johnoxton> Something our research has suggested is that whilst great apps are being written for Ubuntu they aren’t making it all the way into the Software Centre.
  65 [16:24] <johnoxton> Packaging seems to be part of what’s stopping that happening
  66 [16:24] <johnoxton> Thinking about Quickly, and the tools it brings together, helps shape our content strategy for another important area of the site: Resources
  67 [16:24] <johnoxton> ... or Reference... or Documentation (we’re still trying to decide what we should call this section).
  68 [16:24] <johnoxton> Whatever it ends up being called, the potential for this section of the site is enormous and our research suggests it is an area that really could improve the success rate of apps hitting the Software Centre.
  69 [16:25] <johnoxton> But there is a problem.
  70 [16:25] <johnoxton> There’s so much content for this section, generally, but it’s all over the place, it’s not well organised in one authoritative spot.
  71 [16:25] <johnoxton> On the flip side there’s not enough of the right content to help those people who are just getting started; or if there is it’s a real struggle to find it.
  72 [16:26] <johnoxton> Getting this section right in one hit is impossible without a bigger discussion with developers.
  73 [16:26] <johnoxton> So we’ve scoped it carefully and our message will be clear: We need help with this!
  74 [16:26] <johnoxton> Which is where you come in. To begin with let’s keep things simple and engage with you, the community, around a single topic and from there build up the infrastructure we need to make this site something truly special.
  75 [16:26] <johnoxton> So what next?
  76 [16:27] <johnoxton> Before we get to that I just want to share a couple more rough sketches with you so you can, hopefully, see the difference the testing made to how we approached the flow of the site.
  77 [16:27] <johnoxton> and so far they've tested pretty well:
  78 [16:27] <johnoxton>
  79 [16:27] <johnoxton>
  80 [16:27] <johnoxton>
  81 [16:29] <johnoxton> This really has been a very quick skip and a hop through a quite detailed process and I’ve had to boil it down to what I think is the essence of it because I want to leave space for Q&A.
  82 [16:29] <johnoxton> Suffice to say, the site will go live fairly soon and, once it does, we start listening and we start talking.
  83 [16:29] <johnoxton> When we launch, we consider it the beginning of something, not the end. This is when the UX processes really start to kick in.
  84 [16:29] <johnoxton> As I said, I am still fairly new to Canonical and still have to get to know the Ubuntu community better and I need to work out the best ways to collect qualitative feedback and turn it into something actionable.
  85 [16:30] <johnoxton> I will be talking this through with David, and others, as time goes on.
  86 [16:31] <johnoxton> My first step, though, is to try and plan a workshop at the upcoming UDS
  87 [16:31] <johnoxton> so we can investigate any issues that come up in detail, with the aim of coming up with some big themes on which to base future work as well as how we engage with developers in an ongoing discussion about *their* site.
  88 [16:31] <johnoxton> Meanwhile, I hope you will enjoy your new developer site and find it useful when it launches.
  89 [16:31] <johnoxton> You can see my notes here:
  90 [16:31] <johnoxton> Thank you.
  91 [16:32] <dpm> Awesome, thanks John
  92 [16:32] <dpm> Now you can see how much work is involved behind the planning and creating the concept of such a site
  93 [16:33] <dpm> I'll continue from here on. I see there is a question already, so I'll handle that
  94 [16:33] <dpm> in the meantime, if you've got any other questions so far, feel free to ask
  95 [16:33] <ClassBot> paglia_s asked: in some words how does quickly work? which languages does it support and which design library (gtk, qt...) ?
  96 [16:34] <dpm> well, the first thing to understand here is that quickly is just a wrapper
  97 [16:35] <dpm> quickly helps us adding the glue to all of the tools we've decided to recommend for developing in Ubuntu
  98 [16:36] <dpm> as such, quickly puts together python, gtk, debian packaging, bzr, launchpad and a few more
  99 [16:37] <dpm> so quickly is a command line tool that provides easy commands to perform actions which otherwhise would be more complicated
 100 [16:37] <dpm> in other words, it hides the complexity for the developer, who can then just worry about coding
 101 [16:38] <dpm> So just to give an example, to package an app, if you've started a project with quickly, in most cases running the 'quickly package' command will be enough
 102 [16:38] <dpm> rather than having to read tons of documentation and learn how to package
 103 [16:38] <ClassBot> tau141 asked: why does ubuntu recommend PyGtk for creating Applications?
 104 [16:39] <dpm> I was expecting that one :)
 105 [16:40] <dpm> There are many, many good technologies in the open source world and while that is an asset, we do want to make an opinonated choice on the tools we recommend
 106 [16:41] <dpm> Right now python + gtk + debian packaging are the best options to a) provide full integration with the Ubuntu Platform (talk unity, indicators, notification, etc) and b) support the application's full lifecycle
 107 [16:41] <dpm> we want to make it easy for developers to create their apps and publish them in the Software Center
 108 [16:42] <dpm> and for that, we cannot support all technologies and have to concentrate on one we recommend
 109 [16:42] <dpm> right now pygtk (or probably pygi in the near future) is the best option
 110 [16:43] <dpm> which does not mean that when other tools mature or provide better integration with the platform we will not review that choice
 111 [16:43] <dpm> so in short: that's the decision we've done now, but we will continue exploring the options that allow Ubuntu being the best platform of choice for app developers
 112 [16:44] <ClassBot> tomalan asked: The PyGTK-Project was cancelledin april, are you sure you don't mean the PyGobject-Introspection?
 113 [16:44] <dpm> good point. I mentioned just before that pygtk might need to be reworded to pygi in the near future :)
 114 [16:45] <dpm> afaik quickly has not yet been ported to use gobject introspection
 115 [16:45] <dpm> but it's just a minor detail, whenever it does, we'll make sure to update the site's wording
 116 [16:46] <dpm> ok, so if there are no more questions, let me continue with the rest of the session
 117 [16:46] <dpm> While John mentioned the next Ubuntu Developer Summit  (UDS) and future plans, at the _last _ UDS we already devoted a session to discuss the developer site,
 118 [16:47] <dpm> and what you'll be seeing very soon is the result of that work,
 119 [16:47] <dpm> carried out mainly by the web design team with the help of many other folks at Canonical
 120 [16:47] <dpm> One thing I want to stress is that this is just the beginning
 121 [16:47] <dpm> The App Developer Site is just one part (and a key one) of the overall app developer strategy that we're fleshing out as we speak
 122 [16:48] <dpm> This cycle you'll have noticed many of the visible pieces coming together:
 123 [16:48] <dpm> * Jonathan Lange becoming the Developer Program Specialist,
 124 [16:48] <dpm> * the release of the MyApps online portal to streamline the process of submitting apps and get them published in the Software Centre,
 125 [16:48] <dpm> * more apps flowing into the Software Centre...
 126 [16:49] <dpm> You should definitely check out the log of Jonathan Lange's session last Monday
 127 [16:49] <dpm> where he delivered an overview of the vision and the strategy for app development in Ubuntu
 128 [16:49] <dpm> Also Anthony Lenton and Stéphane Graber talked about different aspects of submitting applications through MyApps last Tuesday
 129 [16:49] <dpm> You'll find it all here:
 130 [16:49] <dpm> And finally, to wrap up the topic with good coverage from all sides, John Pugh will talk about the business side, that is,
 131 [16:50] <dpm> how Canonical makes money from commercial applications to become a sustainable business and better support the development of Ubuntu
 132 [16:50] <dpm> In short, we want to put Ubuntu on the app development map.
 133 [16:50] <dpm> We want to provide a top level experience through a platform that makes it easy for developers to create applications and distribute them to millions.
 134 [16:50] <ClassBot> There are 10 minutes remaining in the current session.
 135 [16:50] <dpm> We're laying out a set of solid foundations for that goal, and we're going to build upon them
 136 [16:50] <dpm> will be a place to present developers with a clear journey that will guide them through the process of creating and publishing applications for Ubuntu.
 137 [16:51] <dpm> Along the way, they will find all the resources that will enable them to make the right design decisions and direct them to the infromation they need in a clear and consistent manner.
 138 [16:51] <dpm> And another important purpose of the site will be to become the starting point to build an app developer community.
 139 [16:52] <dpm> As such, this upcoming release is what we could consider the first iteration of
 140 [16:52] <dpm> By Oneiric's release we'll have a site that we can be proud to direct app developers to, with a place that not only is up to the Ubuntu design standards,
 141 [16:52] <dpm> but also to provide application developers the information they need to get started writing applications in Ubuntu.
 142 [16:52] <dpm> That is the primary goal of that iteration, but we are aware that this will not be enough, and that the site will need to evolve and to grow
 143 [16:53] <dpm> So we will need your help to use it, to participate with your feedback and be part of this effort to make Ubuntu the platform of choice for application development and distribution.
 144 [16:54] <dpm> And with this, I think that's all we wanted to cover
 145 [16:54] <dpm> I hope you found our presentation useful, and if you've got any questions, feel free to ask now
 146 [16:54] <dpm> we've still got a few minutes to answer a few
 147 [16:55] <ClassBot> There are 5 minutes remaining in the current session.
 148 [16:58] <ClassBot> tau141 asked: so we can help by using it and by givin our feedback! is there any other way to help?
 149 [16:59] <johnoxton> I think it would be really useful for those who are developing an app or have developed an app to write about their experiences
 150 [16:59] <johnoxton> or start writing tutorials and letting us know about them
 151 [17:00] <johnoxton> I think the resources/reference/documentation section would benefit hugely from content like this
 152 [17:00] <johnoxton> and of course when we go live
 153 [17:00] <johnoxton> look out for bugs and let us know!
 154 === ChanServ changed the topic of #ubuntu-classroom to: Welcome to the Ubuntu Classroom - || Support in #ubuntu || Upcoming Schedule: || Questions in #ubuntu-classroom-chat || Event: App Developer Week - Current Session: Rapid App Development with Quickly - Instructors: mterry
 155 [17:00] <dpm> So if there are no more questions, the last bit is just to thank you for your participation and hope you've enjoyed the session! :-)

MeetingLogs/appdevweek1109/CreatingDeveloperUbuntuCom (last edited 2011-09-09 18:20:43 by dpm)