The line between an OS and an application is drawn by the ability to install applications. The Ubuntu Touch OS is in a state of constant evolution. The current system is dependent upon Click packages. Click packages are similar to the old Debian packaging system. However in the Click system, all dependencies are included in the application itself. This creates a sort of sandbox, which allows the app to have its own filesystem that it controls in a similar fashion to the Android /data partition.
One such Click Package is the XDA Developers App (unofficial). This app was featured by Michael Hall during his talk at XDA:DevCon 2013. It is fully open source, and source is available on Launchpad. Michael is very passionate about application development on the mobile Ubuntu OS, and he gave an interesting presentation about how one could begin development on Ubuntu Touch. This particular app interacts directly with the XDA-Developers Website APIs rather than through Tapatalk or other 3rd party clients.
Michael Hall stated in his presentation that it took about a day for him to create a basic browsing application for the XDA forums. Michael is also welcoming contributions to the project. Setting up the SDK for development is fairly easy, as long as you have UDEV rules established. And for anyone familiar with QT development or HTML 5, you should be able to hop right into developing an app for Ubuntu Touch. So you only need a launchpad account to contribute to this open-source project.
You may be asking yourself, “Why Launchpad?” The answer is simple. Launchpad provides revision control and build control systems. The launchpad system also allows you to build apps that are featured in their own easily-added apt-get open source repository as well. If you’re already a Git user, you will find Bazaar to be easy. The advantage is that you can release nightly builds in several different release formats easily.
The Ubuntu Click apps market is opening shortly, and if you want to have one of the first Ubuntu Touch applications, your time is running out. Starting with Ubuntu 13.10, you can expect to see the Click packages beginning to work their way into Ubuntu, allowing for enhanced security and non-sudo installation. So if you want to start developing for Ubuntu Touch, now is the time.
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