Issues with snap info


#1

In a bash script, I use the snap command to get information about, say, vlc:
snap info vlc
to get information about the publisher. I then need to perform a lot of sed, awk, cut and other operations to extract the values from the standard display of information from the command. For example, to extract the publisher (among other metadata), I run this command :
snap info --verbose --unicode=never vlc | sed 's/^ *//g' | awk 'NF' | cat ${Package_Info} | awk '/:/{f=/^publisher/}f' | sed 's/: */:/g;s/ *$//g' | cut -d ":" -f 2
It would be much more useful if the snap info command could be expanded to return specific metadata. For example I should be able to type:
snap info attrib=publisher vlc
and the snap application would return:
VideoLAN✓
Although Debian packages are good, I love Snaps as I don’t have to worry about dependencies. I use a script to install large numbers of workstations and using snaps makes my life easier.
The other quirk is that when running:
snap info telegram-desktop
BEFORE it has been installed returns a vastly different description than running the same command on the snap AFTER it has been installed. After installation it rightfully returns additional metadata, however the description is vastly simplified. It is as if providing a rich description before installation convinces us to install it and now that it has been installed, why bother your pretty head about the description. So if I want to have access to the description, I have to collect it BEFORE I install the snap.


Getting started
#2

about selecting particular data from info, that is on our radar and we’re playing with a few alternatives, but it’s not planned work yet. Meanwhile, note that the output of snap info is yaml, so a yaml-querying tool should be able to make extraction easy enough, for example if you snap install yq, then

~$ snap info vlc | yq read - publisher
VideoLAN*

about the description: snaps include a description in the snap.yaml file, but package authors can also edit the description through the web. When installing a snap package via snap install (and when refreshing from then on), the description in the web store is recorded and that is the one used if available, falling back to the one in-snap. If however the snap author edits the description after you’ve installed it, or if you use snap download and then install the package ‘offline’, you won’t see the updated description until the snap next refreshes.

I’m wanting to do the work to refresh description (and a few other fields with similar semantics) when we query the store for refreshes, rather than waiting for a refresh to be available, but that is, also, not planned yet.

HTH, HAND.