Pasting the below from the bug report (also reported in OMG! Ubuntu!; the bug report should’ve been a forum topic, if anything, as Sergio said, so I’m turning it into a forum post) and then responding to it in a comment. Maybe snappy devs won’t want to get too embroiled in this but if we can keep the discussion civil and try and keep it factual rather than emotional then we can get something out of this when talking about the merits of snappy in the future Also, if we don’t have this discussion here it’s just going to happen elsewhere so please don’t remove this Instead, please move this to cafe if that is more appropriate.
This is not really a bug, but it is important to address nonetheless. The question is: Why? Why are we developing Snap packaging, when the rest of the Linux community is going with Flatpak?
I know what you are thinking: I hate Snap, or really love Flatpak. Neither are true, and both are interesting and novel. The problem comes from mere practicality reasons. Namely:
A) According to most surveys, Linux developers and the Linux community (in general) want to use Flatpak more than Snap. In one survey, 66%/33%.
B) Flatpak already has security and confinement going through SELinux, not to mention Wayland support. Snap only has AppArmor (which not as many Linux distributions have), and doesn’t have special Wayland confinement right now.
C) Ubuntu has tried in the past to go their own way with technology, against the general Linux community’s wishes. Mir was arguably a failure. Unity8 was also a failure. Snap is going against the general Linux community again, and it seems like it is going to follow the same pattern. Why would anyone use Ubuntu when the core part of it doesn’t work like everyone else?
D) Flatpak is decentralized, versus Snap’s centralized design. This is a win for OEMs, Embedded Software, and Paid apps, but much fear around Snap comes from people afraid of letting Canonical pretty much run the show, alone by themselves. Do Red Hat, Linux Mint, and the like really want Canonical and Ubuntu to own the core servers for distributing apps?
E) gcalc, a Calculator app, totaled a whopping 58.2 MB in my testing from Ubuntu’s own snapcraft.yaml settings, which is unacceptable. Corebird is another example. 2MB in APT, 12MB in Flatpak, 112MB in Snap.
F) Snap is out-of-date as an APT package in almost all other distributions other than Ubuntu. Flatpak is up-to-date (or nearly) in almost all.
Does this mean Snap doesn’t have a place in the Linux world? Wrong, but I think a different approach is necessary. I can see why Ubuntu would like some things centralized. Here are a few solutions which may be more reasonable than trying to Snap everything:
A) Build Ubuntu out of Flatpaks (like the Linux community in general wants to do), but use Snap for IoT, Ubuntu Core, Servers, and Paid Apps. This is due to Flatpak being best for Desktop apps only.
B) Take the features of Snap, and bring them to Flatpak in a Flatpak fork. In other words, set up a Canonical-powered Flatpak server, and integrate Flatpak into launchpad. In this reasoning, think: The community in general wants Flatpak, therefore, we want to be the place where you want to host your Flatpaks. Besides a Canonical Flatpak server, a ‘ubuntu-core’ runtime, and the like, a forked version of Flatpak could also have things like buying Flatpaks and registering Flatpak names, features that Snappy has. It could even be modified to run in all places Snap would run.
I have done much research, and the only reason I have found why Snappy should be continued in development is for IoT and server. That’s it. Why should we press forward with a product the community generally doesn’t want, has various technical/practical problems, and already is being invented in the form of Flatpak? Ubuntu also needs a reputation boost after the Unity8/Mir failure. Why alienate our users again with another reinvention of something others are working on?