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Application Icon and screenshots

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When installing an application from software centre, software centre does a fairly good job of presenting a  very professional looking user inteface but for applications stored in a PPA, the interface isn’t quite in the same league as the applications provided by the ubuntu repositories.

So what can we do about it?  How can we make the packages in our PPA look more like the packages in the main repository?

There are 2 parts of the interface which need more investigation if we want our app to look and feel like an Ubuntu application.


The Packaging Icon, and the Package Screenshot.


Package Screenshot

The package screenshot is downloaded by software centre from screenshots.ubuntu.com.  Debian has a similar screnshots server.  Debshots works by allowing users to upload screenshots.  The screenshots are only allowed for packages within the repositories configured within debshots.   Our choices are to either get our PPA added to the list of acceptable PPA’s or we can host our own server.

In order to make this work we’ll need to modify the software centre to make it look at a new server.  To accomplish this I packaged a replacement software centre, which replaces the ubuntu software centre.


Packaging Icon

When software centre loads a package it checks in /usr/share/app-install/icons for an icon – any file matchng the package name.   Typically these icons are added by Ubuntu.  The whobuntu.applicationicons package adds a series of whobuntu icons to the folder, and as it’s a package we can pass updates before we publish any new packages to the PPA.


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