Last week I was asked for Google Earth by a not-so-tech-savy Ubuntu user. He found Google's .bin Installer and was asking for help with installing.
I told him, that it would be better to use a software repository and did a short introduction to packaging and repositories. While it was easy to send him a link to a Google Earth package for installation with gdebi, telling him how to enable a third-party repositories was not.
A short search reveals that apturl is able to add repositories via URL, unfortunately this feature is disabled by default.
In my opinion, this decision should be reconsidered: While it is true that third party repositories and third party packages mean a potential harm to the users system, the current handling of third-party software is not consistent.
Installing a Ubuntu package via gdebi is easy and used frequently. Even when installed from a trustworthy source, installation of single packages cause a security risk due to a lack of updates.
If the user decides to install third-party software, it seems just consistent to offer him a comparable easy way of adding a repository. This way, his software will get updated and he will decrease the risk of possible security holes due to outdated software.
If you agree with me on this topic, I'd like you to consider voting for this idea on Ubuntu Brainstorm:
If you don't agree, I'm eager to read your opinion.