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Software New Welcome Screen & Suggestions

This is a patch from Kalev Lember that follows the designs from Allan Day and adds a welcome screen in GNOME Software when we’re running it for the very first time. “First time” is detected through a settings flag at
[caption id="attachment_27083" align="aligncenter" width="640"]1st-time-software Software Welcome Screen[/caption]

On the above figure also notice the “download-updates” key that permits us to disable background updates. This is a must have if you don’t use Software to update your system, which I guess you don’t, since Software requires restarting the system in order to apply the updates.

By the way, GTK+ is broken (missing top-right corner) when we have a a dialog popup. That’s a bug, that is fixed!

The reason for this Welcome Screen as Allan Day explains (#731973)

To many users, the idea of a local app store is a bit of a foreign concept (especially from Windows, where the convention is to download apps from the web). As a result, we’ve had some user testing results recently, where a number of users couldn’t figure out what the Software app actually is.

One obvious way to fix this would be to show a dialog on first run, which explains the primary function of the app.

Software Welcome Screen message and graphics maybe change and maybe it isn’t really necessary, but since it is only shown one time, it doesn’t bother either.

App Suggestions

This is obviously more important than the welcome screen and is a new suggestion mechanism from Richard Hughes (patch)

Automatically suggest new application picks based on a heuristic

If you’ve got an installed application in a subcategory, suggest other desktop applications from that same subcategory if they are not-installed, have perfect screenshots and enough kudo points.

“Perfect Screenshots” are 16:9 ratio with a sensible size range images and they will award your applications with extra Kudos and get them boosted in search.

If You’re Asking Me

Software is evolving nicely, but if you’re asking me a serious mistake has been made. Software should had been a centralized web-service, rather a local application. GNOME devs thought of this in the begging but they didn’t qualified this solution for various but not really critical reasons (eg different app versions per distro).

Some benefits of a centralized service would be the use of more advance databases and indexing servers that would process complex queries and “variables” and it would be able to produce smarter results, better related items, improved recommendations etc.

You could also stored “installed apps” under an account login useful in a new system installation, having Google translations on comments, having better ratings and getting very accurate statistics which is really important.

It would be faster too. Perhaps less responsive, but overall faster since we would get better search results, so no need for second search or reading “bad” results.

I guess that will happen when bundles will arrive..  anyway, be positive :)

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