Snappy sprint reporty musing

Harald Sitter sitter at kde.org
Tue Jul 26 13:41:59 BST 2016


On Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 2:07 PM, Sebastian K├╝gler <sebas at kde.org> wrote:
> On Tuesday, July 26, 2016 1:08:28 PM CEST Harald Sitter wrote:
>> - a store REST API (of which the reference version is the ubuntu store)
>
> So something like this exists for flatpaks as well, and it's open source? For
> snappy, we'd either have to use the ubuntu store (non-free, right?) or write
> our own from scratch?
>
> Could you expand on the distribution mechanism?

Right, so, this is actually where the two systems diverge the
strongest in philosophy IMO.

Flatpak distributes via repositories. Those are for all intents and
purposes like any old rpm/deb repo a file tree of stuff the client may
or may not want to retrieve. They are very much meant to be
distributed. So, we would have a repo, GNOME would have a repo,
LibreOffice would have a repo and the user (or her distribution) has
to add the relevant repos to their system to gain access to the
applications inside. Ultimately I think distros will have to manage a
sane default pool of repos or this is going to end in tears ;)

Snaps OTOH do not use repos but some "store" which is basically a REST
API provider to do ultimately the same as a repo would do, albeit more
"webby" as it is actually an API and not just a file tree. That by
default doesn't exclude having multiple stores, the snappy team
however sounded a lot like they want to keep it central-entity by
default. Their point being that the user shouldn't have to go to KDE,
GNOME, LO... to get access to their stuff, their stuff should simply
be in a central store that would always be enabled. It's basically the
equivalent of the Google Play store. The ubuntu store API thingy is
apparently free though [1] there also is an example simple
implementation [2]. I think the biggest problem here isn't so much the
stores concept in and of itself, it's that the current snapd only can
use one store at a time, which makes it awkward if a distributor
doesn't want to use the Ubuntu store for whatever reason.

Arguments can be made for either approach. In the end I hope we'll see
a mushed together version. Fully distributed will likely get on
people's nerves and at the same time fully centralized will probably
raise eyebrows WRT trust and control.

[1] https://github.com/snapcore/snapweb
[2] https://github.com/noise/snapstore

HS




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