Reports this week about a Novell-developed "app store" have raised a lot of interest, and a bit of confusion. Let me clarify.
Novell and the openSUSE Project have already done the heavy lifting to allow developers and ISVs to build packages for all major Linux distributions with one central build service. The openSUSE Build Service provides installable packages of popular open source software for many Linux distributions — including openSUSE, SUSE Linux Enterprise, CentOS, Fedora, Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Debian, and Ubuntu. Using openSUSE Linux, users can install software from the openSUSE Build Service via the One-Click feature, so they can get the best that open source has to offer with no hassles. We're also working with the Linux Foundation to help make the build service available to a wider community of developers via the Linux Developer Network.
It's not the openSUSE Project or Novell's goal to compete with SourceForge.net, Google Code, or any other project hosting service; to the contrary, it has always been our goal to cooperate with these services. In fact, we view these services as complimentary to the openSUSE Build Service, and use them to host some Novell-sponsored projects like iFolder. We believe that the openSUSE Build Service stands alongside project hosting services as part of the infrastructure that helps support the open source ecosystem.