The Ubuntu Linux team hopes to expand the open source operating system's application stack by drawing on community contributions of smartphone and tablet apps.
The team behind Canonical's Ubuntu Linux wants 2014 to be the year of Ubuntu app development. And it's reaching out to the Ubuntu community, especially the local LoCo team chapters spread across the world, to spearhead the effort, according to a blog post from Ubuntu Community Manager Jono Bacon.
Bacon writes: "2014 is going to be a great year for Ubuntu App Developers. We laid down some fantastic foundations in 2013, but this year we want to extend and grow our community in multiple directions … building a solid, empowered on-ramp for creating awesome apps for Ubuntu."
To do that, Bacon envisions Loco teams running "Ubuntu App Developer schools" in their localities. They'll be events where Ubuntu community members can go to learn—in an in-the-flesh, brick-and-mortar fashion—how to create apps for the open source operating system.
For now, the initiative remains in the planning stages (and Bacon invites parties interested in organizing a school to email him), but Ubuntu developers have already created learning materials to help in hosting an event.
Canonical is doing the obvious thing by capitalizing on Ubuntu's enthusiastic community to advance app development for the operating system. Although it is difficult to measure its size with precision, the international fraternity/sorority of Ubuntu fans is probably the largest of the communities surrounding all the major Linux distributions—even if Ubuntu users and enthusiasts may tend to be a bit less geeky and technically inclined than those committed to the Fedora or Debian distributions, which cater to Linux power-users.
If community volunteers can help deliver new apps for Ubuntu, they'll solidify Canonical's ongoing effort to make Ubuntu a more widespread presence on smartphones, tablets and other devices. Ubuntu can run on a growing range of such hardware, but the application stacks to make it useful remain limited, for now. Perhaps the LoCo teams will change that.