Linux users and developers bemoan the few apps available for their desktop. Where are the app developers? is a typical lament. But every commercial next-gen platform going up against Apple/Android — BlackBerry X, Tizen, even Windows — has figured out how to deal with low developer interest: run HTML5 apps. Only the tiny Linux desktop community persists with the fantasy that “if we had better docs, or easier development tools, or less fragmentation, we’d get developers.”
Here’s my response to that particular post (damn site won’t accept OpenID responses):
You’re correct to identify Mozilla app store as an open alternative, but then you return to “Gnome apps”. Focus on making Gnome an outstanding environment to run HTML5 apps, inside or outside a browser. Cheese, GCalctool, GCompris, Gnucash, Tomboy — anything not a hardcore system tool — are all going to fall behind HTML5 apps using the newest web APIs. Which is fine so long as those apps can run offline, don’t leak privacy, can interoperate using open file formats, etc.; so get ahead of the trend and encourage the HTML5 apps that adopt open source values, even though there’s nothing tying them to Gnome.