A lot of different perspectives in this thread, and its hard to argue against anyone in the context that they see it. I personally think an AppStore for newbies is a great idea. When I first discovered Linux, as an Ubuntu user, the App Store was invaluable to me, helping to locate Linux softwares that were equivalent to MS/Win software that I was already familiar with. Ex. I need an office suite…where is MS Office? What, no Office? What IS there available? Ahhh…OpenOffice sorta looks familiar, as does LibreOffice (referencing screenshots of software); AbiWord looks like maybe it will work, but where is the spreadsheet functionality, that won’t do; Calligra? Hmmm…way more choices than I ever had on Windows!!!
Later on, I figured out that Synaptic could provide everything that AppStore did, PLUS packages that weren’t really “software programs”, so I ended up using Synaptic more often. Even later still, having gained even more familiarity, I realized that apt-get from the CLI was the fastest of all, and it was MUCH simpler to just “sudo apt-get install software-package” from a terminal. Maybe I’m not as “typical” as I think I am, but I see each as a different tool with a slightly different use-case scenario. I see an AppStore as a “software package” store (GUI-related) for newbies who have no idea what options are available to them, let alone the pros and cons of those choices. Some, or even many, will gain knowledge & experience, and will switch to Octopi or Pamac, or Yaourt or Pacaur because they KNOW what they want and those tools are quicker for that. Plus, they’ll realize that certain packages, such as “gstreamer-1.0.x” are available in the Octopi or Pamac PACKAGE MANAGER, but are NOT in the AppStore because they are “dependencies” rather than “end-user” products. It also stands to reason, IMO, that folks will also figure out that sometimes it’s just quicker to ctl-alt-t for a terminal and type “sudo pacman -S dkms” than to open Octopi and search for the dkms package.
Coming from Ubuntu, the lack of an AppStore is no big deal for me. Synaptic and CLI tools translate almost perfectly to Octopi/CLI tools in Manjaro. But that is ONLY because I had my Ubuntu Software Center experience that allowed me to “graduate” to Synaptic/CLI. While it’s a valid argument, IMO, that perhaps those users should START with Ubuntu/Mint distros, I believe that negates any argument for Manjaro as being “newbie-friendly”. In effect you’re saying “we’re newbie-friendly, but not as much as Ubuntu/Mint, so use them instead.” That smacks a little of the Arch elitism that I dislike so much, which drove me to discover Manjaro. If Manjaro is going to market itself as “newbie-friendly” I think you have to allow for, and accommodate, the issues that come along with newbie users. And I think a lot of folks in this thread are correct with their statements, but are fundamentally forgetting what it was like for YOU as a brand-new Linux user. Are you going to extend the courtesy to new users and provide them the experience you WISH you had gotten, or are you going to pull-up the draw-bridge from the moat and effectively state “I got mine…if you can’t swim, you can’t come here”?
I hope it’s the former. With that said, I believe that Octopi and Pamac should be left alone as package managers. While I believe that new users of Linux should be accommodated, it should NOT come at the expense of everyone else who is familiar, and LIKES, Octopi and Pamac as they are. IMO, adapting Gnome-Software for Manjaro/Arch seems to be the way to go. It should be a separate tool, IMO, and should be specifically geared to GUI software packages available in Manjaro/Arch. This should be a “beginner tool” to become familiar with the varying multitude of software programs in the Linux ecosystem. Once familiarity is obtained, I suspect a lot of folks will eventually move to Octopi, Pamac, or CLI…just like we did. Provide the stepping stone and the path for new users, while allowing existing users to use the currently existing tools without mitigation. The Linux way is about choice, and freedom. You can provide the choice to those that want it, without sacrificing the freedom to those who don’t. JMO…