Even Windows 10 S supports LOB apps (Line-Of-Business). Still doesn’t change the fact that I really, really disagree with the idea of security by Store apps only, except for maybe a high-security location (e.g. business PCs set up by an administrator, old folks).
How else do you get such a high level of security though? Any sort of federation allows people to install insecure repositories - either completely malicious ones or ones with bad security practices?
Other than Ubuntu Core, which is not used as a desktop operating system as far as I’m aware, you can still use traditional packaging formats by default and, optionally, Flatpaks, AppImages, binaries, etc
I feel like this is just too far, if you know what I mean. I believe we should allow external repositories or, yes, potentially insecure ones. If we had a camera on every corner of every street and inside every house in the world, we would have excellent security. There is a balance of security/options.
The main thing I hate about Snap is I feel like Snap is trying to force this issue. Look at say, Flatpak and Flathub. Flatpak is the packaging method, Flathub is the main “app store”. You will most likely use Flathub, but you aren’t locked in. With Snap, you are locked in unless you want to do a ton of work on a custom version of Snap. FOSS is about choice, Snap gives you one choice, the Snap Store.
Remember the systemd controversy? I can’t imagine the controversy if Snap becomes common and people can’t adjust their updating schedules to any way they wish.
You can set your refresh schedule just fine
@zyga I meant like, the ability to disable auto-updates, etc. Yes, I know that makes things less secure, but I personally would like the choice to do with my system as I will.
The other reason I don’t like the centralized locked-in snap store is about what happens when a controversy occurs.
Take, for example, CoinHive. Widely perceived as a pest, would Canonical remove it, or would they listen to the claims that is could be a legitimate way of monetization in the future?
Or, say, something controversial like politics. What happens when the Left is angry because there is an NRA TV snap on the Store? What does one do in that situation? My point is that Snap has never dealt with anything controversial. I am sure that if Systemd was available as a Snap 5 years ago, we’d have piles of people begging for it to be banned.
I am sure GNU would beg for every mention of Linux to be replaced with GNU/Linux. Canonical might try to integrate their solutions for Livepatch, Ubuntu Advantage into Snap while making it harder for competitors. My point is, a group’s interest in running the Store can cause real problems.
What happens when the Left is angry because there is an NRA TV snap on the Store? What does one do in that situation?
I’ll make a Contra Points youtube viewing snap. Really, I think a lot of problem content could be addressed on a case-by-case basis, whether that’s hatespeech or malware, so there isn’t really the need to get wound up about what may or may not happen. If the platform becomes so popular that there’s a firehose of awful stuff getting published, there would at least be an appropriate context to discuss further measures about how to exclude what kinds of things in a more regular and automatic way. For now, the community guidelines and common sense are enough.
If there were two things that I wish Snap would do, it isn’t adding new features or fixing bugs. If I was a leader (which I am not and not trying to be, just theorizing), I think these would go a very, very long way:
- Unlock Snap, make it easy to add external repos, open-source a Snap Store implementation.
- Make Snap a Foundation, like GNOME or KDE. Have a board of directors, including members from, say, Elementary, Arch, Solus, Debian, etc. Canonical would be a major sponsor, but still just be a member on the board. Eliminate every implication of favoring Ubuntu.
I know that Canonical has funded a lot into producing Snap, so maybe Canonical could just make a list of how much money they spent developing Snap, and take a cut of purchased Snaps until that sum is repaid. (Maybe?)
An excellent way of preventing cross-distribution “pollution” would be that every distribution has their own Snap Store for their specific platform utilities, so the Snap Store is just apps and games. No distro-specific utilities like Livepatch on there right now. This way, you would have Snap Store + Ubuntu Overlay, or Snap Store + Fedora Overlay. I know I’ve said it before, but I still think it would work.
Hate speech is pretty hard to define. The Left (I am not trying to draw attention to these issues, just being honest) would view anything that said LGBT is not genetic, Abortion is murder, etc. as being hateful. The Right would say the opposite / that is isn’t hateful, free speech. This is a particularly touchy subject, because if Ubuntu/Canonical chooses a political view, the people on the other side (it is about 50/50 in the US where I live) would scream Censorship.
Of course I hate politics with every cell in my body, but it is important to talk about them now while forming, instead of waiting until the day we actually have problems. See Facebook as an example. I truly believe that if Snap is to be successful, it must be as politically neutral as possible. Not middle-ground, but neutral as possible. For example, if there is a snap that helps women find abortion clinics, don’t let the Right take it down. Likewise, if there is a snap which helps women find pro-life clinics, don’t let the Left take it down. Only in the cases where, say, the vast majority of both sides of the isle say something is evil (e.g. racism), take it down.
Finally, I know the Snap team is very busy innovating with new features, bug fixes, and I applaud them for that. I do believe it is worth thinking and making a definite decision on how to handle such cases before they are a problem, and trying to improve the distribution-neutral picture now to get as many people on-board with Snap instead of waiting until later when it becomes a problem.
Actually it is NOT possible to set one’s refresh schedule just fine - - - !
Zero is a number - - but it isn’t available in a snap refresh schedule.
This kind of argument is very debatable. The vision that FOSS is about “choice” is your vision, it’s not some universally held truth. The very notion of “choice” is subjective anyway. In fact I, for example, have absolutely no problem with the idea of there being One True Way of doing something, and if anything, I believe we need more of it in the FOSS world, not less. Likewise the systemd “controversy” wasn’t much of a controversy at all, just a tamper tantrum by a small but extremely vocal bunch of VUAs who never managed to advance any serious arguments for their position, just tons of FUD and the notion that it’s supposedly bad because it’s “not UNIX” (by the same token, TCP/IP must be bad too, because the UNIX “philosophy” really leads to UUCP). Once Devuan got released and the usage numbers were in, everyone could see the obvious: no-one really cares and their “init freedom” distro is statistically irrelevant.
However, I do agree with your point but for another reason: FOSS, or free software in Stallman’s sense, is ultimately defined by the absence of top-down centralised control and this, nothing else, is violated by snap’s insistence on not allowing any external repositories. Despite the many weasel worded non-explanations by Canonical, I still don’t see which problem is their approach supposed to solve. Security is all important but only if it’s in the hands of the user and only the user. Put another way, it must ultimately be able to protect you even FROM Canonical rather than BY Canonical. We have no guarantee that Canonical’s snap store is really secure. In fact by design it’s not any more secure than Android’s Play store or Apple’s App store. Third-party stores may not be secure at all (just like PPAs aren’t) but that’s not Canonical’s to judge, each user should individually decide whom he chooses to trust and reputation would do the rest.
The absence of third party repos is an inherent problem that keeps coming back and back and back and Canonical won’t get that thorn out of their foot until one of three things happens:
They drop the BS and come clear about the fact that they don’t want a real FOSS ecosystem, rather they see Ubuntu as another Android. Then it’s up to the users to decide whether or not they are willing to accept that; or
They eat their hat and do what everyone has been calling for for years, that is support multiple repos and provide all tools necessary to create and run an independent snap store; or
Snap dies for it and people move to Flatpak instead.
Replying to you in a private message, I like this line of discussion but it’s getting off-topic. Everything is political, man is by nature a political animal, and the GPL and all of opensource and free software represent a radical, novel perspective on freedom and relations to means of (information and computational) production.
Proposal: Ubuntu S Mode
Comment: I was overly sharp with the comment below. I meant the post as more of a, well, satirical look at what Ubuntu Core comes off like to me, as the definition of “security”. It was not meant to be anything serious.
Snap developers dream (and how I generally feel about this): Proposal: Ubuntu S Mode
Sorry, I was a little sharp with my comment above. Of course I support the work of snap, I meant it as an illustration of how this whole conversation feels.
I’m closing the topic, as it’s no longer meaningful discussion.
re-opened. Please keep in mind this topic is controversial, so try to keep things friendly. Failing that, keep it polite.
I don’t know what is controversial about this topic. Looking at the posts, I don’t see any that argue for the current position AND are not from the Canonical team. It rather looks like there is a rare unanimity about the fact that users should have the possibility to add or set up and operate independent “stores”.
I’ve been looking at (and tempted by) the Talos II Secure Workstation. Now of course Canonical’s store doesn’t build or host POWER binaries. Fair enough, it costs resources and the demand would probably be way too small to justify that. But then what? The user obviously won’t be able to access any of the open source software available from snap (such as the latest versions of LibeOffice, for example), but he (or she) also won’t be able to build them locally automatically, since snap doesn’t offer a way to download the corresponding snapcraft.yaml. And assuming he goes the trouble to retrieve upstream source code, obtain the snapcraft.yaml from the package maintainers, then build and test it on POWER, there will be no way to let the rest of the community benefit from his effort by creating a dedicated POWER store.
This is but one example of a scenario where the current model doesn’t fit legitimate expectations of FOSS users.
It definitely does provide ppc64el … snaps of that arch are just rare i guess because you need to use launchpad to create them (vs simply having build.snapcraft.io pull from a github tree (which builds x86 and arm in 32 and 64 bit))
"Large container deployments" usecase - where are we at?