Flathub, a key player in the Linux ecosystem, has evolved into a preferred destination for users seeking distro-agnostic applications.
Initially aimed at simplifying access to the latest versions of popular apps through Flatpak, Flathub now boasts over 2,400 applications, often directly maintained by their developers, reaching an impressive milestone last May, with 1 billion downloads.
However, this success has brought its own challenges, particularly concerning the quality of app metadata. The platform noticed an influx of applications with low-quality metadata, unappealing icons, and outdated screenshots, which may lead to confusion among users.
Recognizing the importance of this in aiding users in discovering new and high-quality apps, Flathub has decided to take proactive steps to address these issues.
To improve the situation, the platform’s devs have taken a two-pronged approach: firstly, raising the standard for app metadata across all applications, and secondly, introducing a curation system to highlight the best apps.
Raising the Bar for Metadata
Flathub has introduced detailed documentation for app metadata, covering crucial aspects and common pitfalls to avoid, such as fully utilized app icons and non-repetitive summaries and including window shadows in screenshots.
Additionally, a new review system allows editors to rate each app’s metadata, with developers able to see these ratings and make necessary improvements in subsequent releases.
The aim is to curate high-quality apps with excellent metadata. This includes having app banners with icons and screenshots on the homepage, curated lists of apps, seasonal/topical recommendations, and editorial blog posts. The plan is to start with simple banners on the homepage and iterate from there.
Those efforts, made with end users in mind, are expected to improve Flathub-wide search capabilities and enhance the overall discoverability and attractiveness of apps on the platform. For more information, refer to the original article.