Introducing Watson: a best-practices application template for elementary OS 6 (Odin)

Get up and running in under 60 seconds with your first elementary OS application (while adhering to the human interface guidelines, etc.)

To see Watson in action, watch the introductory video I recorded today:

Don’t care about making applications but like lovely wallpapers?

Well, you’re in luck because I commissioned one for Watson from the wonderfully talented @margodeweerdt

You can download three versions in 4K from


I consider Watson as alpha as I’m very new to developing apps for elementary OS myself and I’d love some community feedback…

- What have I missed?
- What doesn’t work?
- What can be improved?

CC @danrabbit @cassidyjames

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@aral @danrabbit @cassidyjames You've already messed up and ensured your project is dead beyond your personal interest by focusing so much on some obscure little Linux distribution with a special not-really-free license and a website that requires JavaScript where you can't even download "their" OS.

Market/describe it as a general "Linux development following Elementary UI Guidelines Starter Pack for Novices" or something similar and make sure that the default templates are desktop-independent.

@katie Hey Katie, are you always this fun at parties or is it only on weekdays?

@katie @aral @danrabbit how is the GPLv3 “not really free,” pray tell? If you don’t want to use the JS (which itself is entirely open source at, you can always build the entire OS from source in minutes using our build system which is also entirely open source and very straightforward:

@katie @aral @danrabbit in addition, elementary OS is an opinionated implementation of a desktop, sure, but we are constantly working to ensure compatibility with FreeDesktop standards, and in many cases, driving those very standards forward. Apps built for elementary OS can be installed and run on any modern Linux-based operating system if that’s your preference.

But also maybe don’t shit on other people’s open source projects, yeah?

@cjk @aral @danrabbit @cassidyjames face it, linux is <1% of the overall rapidly shrinking desktop market and whatever flavor distro you prefer is probably <0.01%.

you're better off targeting the "bigger" market when it's easy and it's tiny to begin with

somewhat related, I mostly use KDE programs on Xfce since they work on any desktop, they are powerful and they follow the desktop standards without being tied to KDE. I don't use a single one of those useless GNOME "apps" that break outside it

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