My thoughts (I’ve also included my thoughts on how snappy could improve in certain areas which I have bolded (obviously I’m just a snappy user but I’m giving my thoughts anyway)):
Is there a source for that survey?
Also, just because a technology may be more popular now, doesn’t mean that it will be in the future. These are new technologies and things could change very fast. However, given snappy and Flatpak both claim to be universal packaging formats with automatic updating by default (unlike AppImage), surely ‘universal’ implies that we do want one format to win in the end or are we OK with upstream developers having to package for at least two universal packaging formats in the long-term? I suppose ‘universal’ could just mean that it works across all distributions (or aims to) rather than that it’s the sole packaging format that upstreams should use for Linux - distributions can support snappy, or Flatpak, or both, and then upstreams can choose whether to package for one or the other or for both. If, theoretically, every distribution supported snappy and Flatpak by default, then the only downside to having both installed would be more disk space taken up by duplicated platforms and the like, in exchange, developers would be able to package in whichever format they preferred (or both).
‘Flatpak already has security and confinement going through SELinux’ is incorrect, as pointed out by Carlos Soriano, Flatpak actually uses ‘bwrap, which is the same as container technologies like ostree and available in every distro’. This does raise a question for Ubuntu though - not all distributions support AppArmor by default (as far as I’m aware). Why did snappy choose AppArmor rather than alternative technologies (which, if Carlos is correct, are more supported cross-distro) and what will snappy do to improve in this area (I noticed the Solus OS is incorporating/has incorporated patches to support AppArmor and progress is happening there for Debian, but how can we expect this to happen for every distro?).
‘special Wayland confinement’ I don’t know what G.S. means here.
On Mir: stress on ‘arguably’, it’s still actively developed and rather popular in certain areas (one only has to search this forum for ‘mir’ to get an idea of how in demand it seems to be!)
‘against the general Linux community’s wishes’ - what is the view of the ‘general Linux community’? Distros seem to be adopting snappy, Flatpak, or both.
‘Why would anyone use Ubuntu when the core part of it doesn’t work like everyone else?’ - if it works then I imagine that people will probably use it! Like I said for B, if Ubuntu (like other distros) support both snappy and Flatpak then the only downside is more hard drive space taken up (e.g. by having a snappy GNOME platform and a Flatpak GNOME platform installed side-by-side). Also many distributions diverge from the crowd with very different features and still are used by many people! Ubuntu had diverged with Unity and Upstart and was used by many (admittedly there isn’t a consensus in the Linux community around the ‘correct’ DE, but there isn’t a consensus around the ‘correct’ universal packaging format either).
On decentralization…hmm. Snappy theoretically supports multiple stores but I haven’t seen much of that in practice. On the other hand, Flatpak having multiple ‘remotes’ has its downsides as you have to add remotes before installing software. I’m guessing distribution software centers would do this automatically though! Perhaps, if other companies/individuals were willing, the servers could be shared with all the companies/individuals in control of the servers paying for the servers, if this really is an issue. However, maybe this isn’t necessary, Flatpak has made Flathub which is a centralised repository for Flatpaks, who runs that? And why doesn’t that receive the same vitriol as the snappy store? Whoever runs that, it’ll be a group of people or a person, why can you trust them more than you trust Canonical? And is your reason objective, or just subjective in that you don’t like Canonical or something?
@daniel is bringing down the size of Corebird as it uses the GNOME platform snap. Snappy is working on this (with platform snaps in general). Equally it wants to avoid the issue with traditional packaging systems where updates to core libraries can break applications using them (which means you either have a rolling distribution model which is not considered user-friendly for non-technical users or you have a release-based OS with outdated applications by default) - applications should be able to bundle their own libraries, this will allow a release-based OS (user-friendly/‘stable’) with up-to-date applications). But this does take up disk space, yes.
This is true, is it not? Something that snappy needs to work on - keeping
snapd up-to-date in all distributions.
snapd does update itself from a certain version though (which one?) so once
snapd hits that version in all distributions this becomes less of an issue (though it would be nice to try and keep
snapd updated in all distributions as it is packaged anyway so people don’t have to download the update on install to get up-to-date
‘like the Linux community in general wants to do’ again, this needs proving (well, I’m not sure it even can be proved!), and opinion can change fast. ‘Flatpak being best for Desktop apps only’ why is snappy no good for desktop apps? Maybe it can improve in some areas but in some ways it’s better? The simple one-file
snapcraft.yaml is pretty sweet for developers (as is automated builds from build.snapcraft.io) wanting to push their apps across all Linux distributions! Yeah, this could be an option in the future (much like how Ubuntu now uses Mir for more Core-type stuff and Wayland for the desktop), but snappy is doing well in some ways at the moment and has others it can improve on - much like Flatpak!
‘Take the features of Snap, and bring them to Flatpak in a Flatpak fork’ - sounds messy, much like what Ubuntu is trying to do with Unity and GNOME at the moment! Yeah it could work but you could also miss something. Also, why not vice versa? Why not ‘take the features of Flatpak, and bring them to snappy in a snappy fork’?
Looking at the concluding statement, much of it could also be said of Flatpak. It also ‘has various technical/practical problems, and already is being invented in the form of snappy’.
Another point I’d like to make though, is that Flatpak seems to be doing a much better job of appearing distro-neutral. The snapcraft.io website is still, as far as I’m aware, a Canonical website; I think all of the
snapcraft core teams are Canonical employees (do correct me if I’m wrong! - Flatpak’s main dev is Red Hat-employed (I think?!) and then they say there’s just 'other developers); the snappy store is owned by Canonical; snappy’s branding still needs work (see the icon for this forum, for example) whereas Flatpak seemed to have nailed distro-neutral branding from the start… This does increase the vitriol leveled at snappy for not supposedly being distro-neutral. Of course, there’s only so much that snappy can do, it’s the wider Linux community’s responsibility to get involved at some point, but, like I say, Flatpak seem to have done a better job so far of appearing distro-neutral. Seems there’s some work still to do here for snappy.