Tried some flatpaks today- thoughts on future development?

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Tried some flatpaks today- thoughts on future development?

Postby JLloyd13 » 2016-08-11 21:12

Today I decided to go and give flatpaks a try- mostly for kicks, partially to try and get a working version of gnome maps and see if epiphany 3.20 would actually sign into my google account.

flatpak nightly maps and 3.20 epiphany
Image

Debian stable 3.14 maps and epiphany
Image

As you can see, the flatpaks work quite well, even if they ignore the gtk theme and you'll add 1-2gbs to your / just to install the gnome 3.20 runtimes and a few applications. Epiphany has fixed what ever issue prevents it from signing into google accounts and maps has fixed their tile issue (which is also fixed in an upstream patch to 3.14, but yet to be fixed in Jessie) How much I'll actually use them or even whether I'm going to keep them installed, we'll see.

The main thing I'm interested in hearing is other Debian users opinions of where they think this is headed and whether it's a good idea- personally I've always considered the package management systems of most GNU/Linux distributions as a major advantage over Windows/OSX, and the increased disk and memory usage is certain not something I welcome. The fact that snap and flatpak both want to be additional package managers on our systems would also kind of defeat the beauty of aptitude upgrade and the entire system is upgraded.

I do see a number of good uses for it though- testing nightly software, giving access to more up to date software to older/more stable distribution releases, and of course security.

The idea of portability across distributions however doesn't strike me personally as a huge selling point- it shouldn't be too hard for me to compile an open source application for both Debian and Arch, or Debian and OpenSUSE, etc. a developer just has to make the source available and if someone wants it they can compile it, usually without too much difficulty. In that situation distributing software through normal channels with shared dependencies makes way more sense most of the time. So the main situation where a single format really makes sense looks to me like proprietary software, which doesn't exactly make me enthusiastic. What do you guys think?
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Re: Tried some flatpaks today- thoughts on future developmen

Postby stevepusser » 2016-08-11 21:44

Flatpaks and appimages both seem to be coming from the GNOME 3 side of things, which is interesting, because most newer versions of GNOME applications are requiring newer versions of GTK+3 to build than you're going to have available in Jessie. So they aren't a simple thing to compile on Jessie, and a newer GNOME stack is far, far from a simple compile. So I can see the advantage for them on Stable. On the other hand, almost all Qt applications are still able to be built on Jessie.

Did you install flatpak on Jessie or an upstream Debian? I'd like to give it a spin.
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Re: Tried some flatpaks today- thoughts on future developmen

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2016-08-11 21:55

stevepusser wrote:Did you install flatpak on Jessie or an upstream Debian? I'd like to give it a spin.

It's only available from testing/unstable and the backporting is non-trivial.

https://forums.bunsenlabs.org/viewtopic ... 767#p34767

what do you guys think?

It's a nice toy but I agree with http://kmkeen.com/maintainers-matter/index.html
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Re: Tried some flatpaks today- thoughts on future developmen

Postby JLloyd13 » 2016-08-11 22:19

There's now a repository for jessie, see: http://flatpak.org/getting.html. I installed flatpak itself from there, and so far have only installed flatpaks for Epiphany 3.20, Maps nightly, and gnome weather 3.20.

The idea that it's the maintainers who provide the consistency and quality control definitely make sense to me. Definitely an interesting toy though- I'm certainly interested to see how far it goes. As long as it's supplimentary and never replaces the normal repository system- which is looks like Ubuntu plans to replace with snaps.
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Re: Tried some flatpaks today- thoughts on future developmen

Postby stevepusser » 2016-08-12 00:01

It make me wonder how they got it to build for Jessie, since when I tried to backport the same version from the same maintainer's PPA, the ostree build-dependency always failed to build from source (FTBFS, a common acronym among packagers :( )
The MX Linux repositories: Backports galore! If we don't have something, just ask and we'll try--we like challenges. New packages: Clipgrab 3.8.6, Hedgewars 1.0.0, PulseEffects 4.6.8, Telegram-desktop 1.8.15, Pale Moon 28.7.2, KeepassXC 2.5.1
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Re: Tried some flatpaks today- thoughts on future developmen

Postby JLloyd13 » 2016-08-12 00:29

stevepusser wrote:It make me wonder how they got it to build for Jessie, since when I tried to backport the same version from the same maintainer's PPA, the ostree build-dependency always failed to build from source (FTBFS, a common acronym among packagers :( )


huh... do you think their repository is safe to use? Now I'm worried...
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Re: Tried some flatpaks today- thoughts on future developmen

Postby stevepusser » 2016-08-12 02:44

I'd say it is probably safe, since the packages install. If the binaries are unstable, it would just be flatpak that could crash, and shouldn't affect the system.
The MX Linux repositories: Backports galore! If we don't have something, just ask and we'll try--we like challenges. New packages: Clipgrab 3.8.6, Hedgewars 1.0.0, PulseEffects 4.6.8, Telegram-desktop 1.8.15, Pale Moon 28.7.2, KeepassXC 2.5.1
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Re: Tried some flatpaks today- thoughts on future developmen

Postby Bulkley » 2016-08-12 03:45

Flatpak reminds me of the old Slax Linux. Based on Slackware, Slax ran all programs as modules. It is an interesting idea that has a few enthusiasts.
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