Michael Hall of Canonical has posted a lengthy blog post to explain why the forthcoming Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system needs your help to make GNOME Software look beautiful.
If you’re reading our Linux news articles on a daily basis, you may be aware of the fact that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, which is currently scheduled for release this Spring, on April 21, will feature a new graphical package manager called GNOME Software.
As its name suggests, GNOME Software is a GNOME app, but considering the fact that Ubuntu is built on top of the GNOME Stack, it can be installed without causing any major dependency issues. Ubuntu 16.04 LTS ships with GNOME Software installed by default as a drop-in replacement for Ubuntu Software Center.
However, it appears that there’s an issue with the extraction of metadata from existing packages available in the main Ubuntu software repositories, in particular app icons, despite the fact that GNOME Software’s AppStream metadata format does a pretty good job at that.
“It turns out that the bulk of the missing or incorrect data is caused by the application icons being used by app packages,” said Michael Hall. “While most apps already have an icon, it was never strictly enforced before, and the size and format allowed by the desktop specs was more lenient than what’s needed now.”
Here’s how you can help
Because there are numerous Ubuntu packages in the archives that contain lower resolution icons or icons in an unsupported format (the list is pretty huge), which in no way will look good on the modern interface of GNOME Software, Canonical needs the community’s help to contribute icons.
Contributing icons is easy, and Michael Hall is already providing volunteers with a step-by-step tutorial that they can read on his blog post. And the best part of doing this, is that you will also help all the other GNU/Linux operating systems that use the new AppStream metadata standard.