I’d like to snap some third-party tools we use to make distribution easier. I have some general questions as well as some more specific (hand-wavy) ones.
Are there guidelines or etiquette on packaging other people’s applications?
For open source usually the licensing and distribution is clear. Is it considered a requirement to ask if the project is happy to have their software distributed by snap?
For closed-source projects very often distribution is verboten - there is nothing to say.
There is a class of closed-source projects with ambiguous or potentially permissive licenses. An example of this that is common (well at least 2 applications) - and related to my needs - is free (as in beer) software to support hardware that you pay for. Very commonly these have licenses like:
- only on our hardware
- we’re not responsible/not on nuclear facilities
- don’t reverse engineer
- sue us in delaware (or wherever)
Would snapping a such an application be acceptable in the store? IANAL, but distributing unmodified binaries where the license provides no hint that they oppose distribution, only for use on actual hardware (snaps can guarantee that - at least I think they can for USB VID/PIDs) seems to be exactly what is permitted.
For ambiguously licensed applications Linux is often an also-ran target so they are unlikely to package themselves, likely have legacy library dependencies (fits nicely in snaps because of that), and be unresponsive to requests from people buying less than 100 units per month.