Also, in case of Qt applications using qmake as the build utility, can't we have some magic qmake commands/macros that would do the Right Thing in terms of packaging for a given store? All that would be required is a list of metadata (name, "namespace"/domain name, description, category, ...) and an application icon, and the rest can be figured out by the build system (I'm thinking of the MeeGo Factory video here - put a qmake-based Qt source tarball in at the one end, and get an AppUp-compliant RPM, Ovi-compliant DEB, etc.. out at the other end - without having to care about distro-, store- or even device-specific packaging differences).
Apart from the fact that one has to do much special-casing, the other problem is that the rules are not always clear, and can be interpreted in multiple ways - the only way to find out if you picked the right interpretation is to wait for a few days (AppUp in my experience has been faster than Ovi Store with that) until you get feedback from the QA teams.
I would really like to have an automated "package checking" tool (provided by an app store vendor, i.e. Nokia or Intel) that I can run locally before I upload my packages, so that packaging bugs can be removed very early on (i.e. assuming 3 iterations to get the package right, and an estimated 3 business days of QA response time, the "upload and wait for feedback" approach would be approximately two weeks, whereas the "check locally using automated validation tool" approach would take about 3 days, because I can do the three iterations locally in about an hour and then wait 3 days for the QA team to check the contents, etc..).
So, my wishlist for a good app store - developer relationship:
- Provide automated tooling to check for packaging errors/compliance
- Make sure to align as much as possible with freedesktop.org and other app stores
- Provide example packaging, add positive and negative naming/config examples to the docs
- Provide an easy way to check for and fix package dependencies
- Allow developers to submit new versions from the command line / via scripts (requiring the developer to go to a website and using an upload tool is not developer friendy :/)
- Allow developers to upload new versions while an old version is still in QA (AppUp, I'm looking at you)