Create a "featured-desktop" section in the store?

The snap store has a “featured” section which is used to promote snaps to users, i.e.:

$ snap find
Name               Version       Developer       Notes    Summary
anbox-installer    1             morphis         classic  Installer for the Android in a Box runtime environment
vlc                daily         videolan        -        The ultimate media player
docker             17.03.1-ce-1  docker-inc      -        The docker app deployment mechanism
lxd                2.15          canonical       -        System container manager and API
vectr              0.1.15        vectr           -        Vectr is a free graphics editor used to create vector graphics easily and intuitively.
rocketchat-server  0.57.0        rocketchat      -        Group chat server for 100s,  installed in seconds.
keepassxc          2.2.0         keepassxreboot  -        community driven port of the windows application “Keepass Password Safe”
nextcloud          11.0.3snap5   nextcloud       -        Nextcloud Server
hugo               0.24.1        hugo-authors    -        Fast and Flexible Static Site Generator
conjure-up         2.2.2         canonical       classic  Package runtime for conjure-up spells

We now show these featured snaps in GNOME Software. This list doesn’t contain some good desktop snaps (e.g. ohmygiraffe, pin-town) and shows snaps that are don’t seem appropriate to desktop users (e.g. lxd). Should we make a “featured-desktop” section that contains a different list of featured snaps for desktop users? The “featured” section would then be used for command-line / server style snaps.


Yes, we can do that easily enough. Send me the list of snap names you’d like in the section and we’ll get that setup.

We can just call the section “desktop” BTW.

That sounds a bit awkward. I’d expect a “desktop” section to contain all desktop snaps, which isn’t the same as featured.

Well, unless snaps may be in multiple sections and we intersect “featured” and “desktop”.

On a related note, the theme of “featured is not a proper set” recurs every once in a while. What’s the current process we’re applying for keeping that list up-to-date? Should we make use of this forum to ensure the list is indeed reflecting snaps worth being highlighted regularly, on an expected schedule?

A snap can be associated with any number of sections, and a section then has a set of ranked “featured” snaps within it that show up if you just do the section listing e.g. snap find --section database.

The somewhat incorrectly named “featured” section is really “globally featured” and is what you see if you do a bare snap find.

In terms of curation of the section data, we had some agreements on responsibility for that last fall but need to reevaluate and the tooling for doing so had been de-prioritized and will need to be raised again.

The “featured” name actualy feels good with these semantics.

Rethinking the original issue stated above, I’m not sure we want to have a different set of snaps for featuring on the desktop. We should instead blend them properly so we tend to have a set that shows nice snaps both for the desktop and for other uses, both on the desktop and in the command line. That makes people aware of the cross over in both environments.

If there’s agreement on that, the issue is again back to curation: how do we ensure there’s a regular and dependable process for getting snaps featured?

If there’s agreement on that, the issue is again back to curation: how do we ensure there’s a regular and dependable process for getting snaps featured?

The Advocacy team judges candidates. Anyone can suggest an app should appear in this “shop window” and we’ll consider it against the others. Updates have been ad-hoc to date, but I’m comfortable committing to every week.

I agree w/@niemeyer about having the 1 existing global featured section, we can still have a desktop section, and add all desktop snaps (of reasonable quality) to it and feature some therein.

I’ll work with @ev to get a regular process setup for the updates.

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I’ve heard people are leaning towards showing all featured snaps on desktop. See below for an example of a currently featured snap (heroku) that works badly in GNOME Software. It is something that the majority of Ubuntu desktop users will not have a use for or understand and doesn’t have sufficient metadata to understand it.

We have some options:

  • Require featured snaps to have more metadata (in this case an icon, and better summary/description. Ideally some sort of screenshot (probably not literally in this case)). I think the snap author might be reluctant to add much here since this is not their target audience?
  • Don’t show snaps without good metadata in GNOME Software. Can be a bit confusing to snap authors why they’re not showing.
  • Detect which snaps in the featured list are appropriate (insufficient metadata at the moment to decide this in GNOME Software).
  • Use a different featured list that contains desktop appropriate snaps (what this topic is proposing).

This first option sounds like the best one. It seems sane that a feature snap would need to be minimally polished to present itself properly.

@noise @evan What would be the best path for us to make sure that this is the case?

We’ll go through the list of featured snaps this week and make sure they all have icons and sensible descriptions.

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