How to easily upload up-to-date app screenshots into Ubuntu Software Center (non-technical Ubuntu contribution)
Usually, installing software in Ubuntu is performed via Ubuntu Software Center, a user-friendly "global" app, that allows the user to hassle-free install software (utilities, tools, games, documents, etc) by opening USC, typing a preferred word in the search area and clicking install.
Ubuntu is constantly gaining newcomers, freshmen that are gradually grasping Ubuntu "mysteries" and a basic set of knowledge, bundle of Ubuntu specific bits required for an optimal operating system usage.
Applications are properly exposed on the internets (forums, blogs, wikis, etc), nevertheless, identifying Ubuntu Software Center as the main installation tool, tends to "force" the newcomer to search for software in USC, not only for widely known and used apps, but also for specific tools, utilities, etc, according to one's needs and at-that-moment interests.
As such, the freshman opens USC and search for software, then USC displays the matched software, finally the newcomer opens apps' detail view.
While USC offers a massive amount of high-quality software, the per-app displayed descriptive image is sometimes obsolete, "old", representing x months/years old screenshoted apps, visually removing the actual development progress happened between the time of the "faulty" screenshot and the state of the current app, with probably new features added, redesigned interface, etc, basically, presenting itself a non-intentional "injust" inappropriate manner of visually enhancing apps' functionalities.
The mentioned "gap" between present functionalities&look and the "old" look, can sometimes (especially for newcomers) act as a stopper, the user ditching an app based on a "poor" design, lack of buttons, etc, (as seen in its faulty screenshot), while the up-to-date app features much more than is seen in its screenshot, thus being suitable for the user (the user that judged the app based on an old screenshot).
Ubuntu is an OS based on Debian, consequently, Ubuntu takes a solid amount of software from Debian, meaning, usually, making a change in Debian, equals a change in Ubuntu, due to Ubuntu's syncing nature.
Screenshots Debian is a handy website that houses numerous images of software displayed in Ubuntu Software Center, featuring an easy-to-use handy functionality to upload pictures, meaning, uploading an app picture can be easily performed via few clicks without the need of a specialized account.
Opening the webpage, presents one properly organized software by category, meaning, on the left area, handy categories (such as
Office and business, User Interface, Biology, Games and Amusement, etc) are to be accessed in order to reveal their contained specific apps.
Searching for a particular preferred app is to be performed via the big-sized Search area.
How do we add a new screenshot for an app (the example is Rhythmbox)?
- navigate via the web-browser to http://screenshots.debian.net/
- type in the
- click on rhythmbox text link (as opposed to clicking on an image, process that exposes only the already available official images, already available in USC)
- click on
Upload a new screenshot
- next to
Screenshot (PNG file)click
Browseand locate the actual from-the-desktop image
- in the next hours/days the image will be available in Ubuntu Software Center
Accounts are not required, yet, the developers published easy-to-fit-into image upload details, such as:
- the screenshot must be in PNG format
- the targeted package must be free (as opposed to non-free)
- the image must be relevant, exposing key features and main views of the app, as opposed to upload a picture with a start splash screen, etc
- the language must be English
- the image must contain the actual app, not the entire desktop (excepting screenshots that require the whole desktop, such as a Unity lens)
Although not a requirement, uploading screenshot with apps featuring Ubuntu's default GTK+ themes and icon themes, are probably an aspect to be fully utilized for a maximized Ubuntu "compatibility".
The mentioned user "effort" can considerably improve USC's quality, by providing relevant up-to-date screenshots,generating intuitive more accurate image-based descriptions, a truly reachable and available action for interested users.
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