Months ago, Canonical announced the upcoming arrival of Click packages, essentially, a simplified packaging format aimed at (probably initially) the mobile side of Ubuntu, namely, Ubuntu for phones and Ubuntu for tablets.
Basically, the Click packages are not meant to replace DEB packages, but rather being designed in mind as extra, additional package formats suitable for mobile form factors running Ubuntu.
Click package 0.1 landed in Ubuntu 13.10's universe, thus being installable via Ubuntu Software Center.
The installable part of the Click packages is their ability to (work in progress) build and manage CLICK (.click) packages via the terminal.
Judging by its documentation, the Click packages are now oriented towards self-contained third-party applications, allowing (in the future) third-party developers to directly upload third-party apps in Ubuntu Software Center (as part of the upcoming app-upload process), yet, removing potential malevolent actions of those third-party apps.
The Click packages are to sandbox third-party apps (being sandboxable), thus protecting the user from malevolent intentions of potential harmful third-party developers (automatically accepted in Ubuntu Software Center by an automatic process).
As attributes of the Click packages 0.1, there are:
- file extension is .click
- usage of dpkg at their core
- still possible to install CLICK (.click) packages via dpkg (similarly to now's Ubuntu), although not encouraged, nor recommended
- every CLICK package is installed in a self-contained directory
- maintainer scripts are forbidden (with very few exceptions)
click-package 0.1.2 package, allows the user to run it via the terminal, where several actions are available, including
build (builds a CLICK package),
install (installs a CLICK package), verify, etc, offering a glimpse of intended upcoming functionalities.