Snapistics - Snaps in Numbers - Your Thoughts


#1

Hello and welcome!

This is a discussion thread for the Snapistic - Snaps in Numbers blog post:

But there is a flip side to this story. The impressive growth of the snap adoption does not tell us anything about developers and users who have still not tried the framework - or did try and chose not to persist, for whatever reason or stumbling block they may have encountered.

In other words, we would like to ask you: What would make you start using snap packages? What kind of functionality would you like to see included? How do you envision this framework making your life easier? What would make you snap - but in a good way?

Let us know your thoughts and idea.

Igor


#2

a GUI would be nice.


#3

Hey gosim,

Can you elaborate on that a little bit?

Did you have a classic IDE in mind or something else?

Igor


#4

I kinda believe most users unintentionally installed the snap version of the apps due to the non-outstanding distinction between them. Also, it seems that the software center (in Ubuntu) prefer snap apps more than apps in other forms.

It would be helpful if the user get some warning when installing snaps with personal post-fixed snap name as it is an indication that the snap is not constantly maintained.


#5

Hello Igor.
I have a program and tried to use snapcraft to distribute it (I will try again) and it was really hard to understand how to use it and I was unsuccessful.

So some kind of GUI where you can just click and follow steps and fill in what is needed or point to paths or choose between different options and it will auto create the snap file or maybe do the whole snap process.

  1. name of program
  2. which programming language
  3. different choices
  4. dependencies
    etc.

so yes, a classic IDE would be nice.


#6

I believe there’s an unofficial snapcraft GUI frontend or something. However, the packaging process requires knowledge about how software find its resources(the software relocatability) and is never a trivial task.


#7

The article seems to be removed, just FYI.

UPDATE: Fixed.


#8

Hi,

I would really love to see direct ALSA access not only emulated by pulseaudio. Or Jack Audio Connection Kit integration would be nice, too.


#9

@gosim, thanks for the input. Do you envision any place for a plugins framework integrating into popular IDE?

@jkraehemann, can you elaborate a little on the use case you have in mind? Also, is this strictly audio you’re interested in, or do you see room for similar enablement for other devices, e.g. webcam for instance?

Igor


#10

@Lin-Buo-Ren, from your end, you want better visibility what software you’re installing and the ability to filter results where the packages have not been actively maintained for a certain period and/or matching similar criteria?

Igor


#11

@igor, why not? something like that. Just simplify the process with a GUI is my suggestion. The concept with snap is really good, just make it easier for people who knows one programming language and want to publish it without having to learn about the operating system mechanics.


#12

We have done something similar for Electron applications by working with upstreams to add snap support to projects like Electron Builder and Electron Forge. It would be great to see this extended to other popular languages and IDEs.


#13

@Igor, I would love to have support for MIDI keyboards (ALSA rawmidi) and low-latency audio. Yes, I am only interested in audio improvements. Like playback and capturing sound.

Joël


#14

Hi you asked my view on the usage of snaps, tried them and try to avoid them now because of 3 reasons:

  • While having a program normally installed as well the snap of it, I compared speed of loading and working and my impression is that the snaps are clearly slower and asking more cpu power from the system.
  • security? while a permanent update looks attractive, if it is not very very well controlled it allows also bad actors to include malware, virusses etc in the upgrade and it all goes automatic as I udnerstand it; so you are infected before you know and than do not even know which snap caused it. this is not hypothetical, as some bad stories on this were published.
  • difficult to see difference in snaps and normal packages; also the icon is the same. In Ubuntu software you have to scroll down to see the origin of a chosen package. I propose that the icon has a small “S” in it or something similar,
    I have to edit my post as there is another reason why I do not like snaps: it clutters the list of attacted drives/usb sticks etc… It looks like each snap, adds another “drive” to it and it becomes a real hassle to find your desired drive to activate.

#15

I believe this is a fair trade-off to obtain newer apps.

  • Don’t install snaps from an untrusted publisher.
  • Even if malware is slipped into a snap, for non-classic confinement snaps it is still relatively fine as it can only access what this particular snap previously allow access to, for example, a malicious snap can suck all your computation power to compute crypto coins, but it can’t steal your SSH private keys (unless the corresponding interface to access it is connected)
    NOTE: Transitional interfaces have much more security concern, but those are legacy technologies that need time to get rid of.

#16

@ardsur, thanks for the input. On the last point, where do you see these drives? File manager?

Igor


#17

Hi igor

yes it was in file manager, (the standard in ubuntu, guess that is nautilus). click on Other Locations and it all shows, each snap had its own line. Can’t show you a screenshot as I have no snaps at this moment.

I think that snapcraft is working on an update to suppress these ?


#18

I believe this is rather a bug as AFAICT snap loop device mounts are already hidden from the file manager (but not in the mount(8) and lsblk(8) output).


#19

I spent a fair amount of time and effort trying to work through snapd and its ecosystem.

I chose to cease using snapd and removed the likelihood of using the snap ecosystem from my systems for 2 reasons.

  1. The ecosystem assumes that I want to be running everything at the bleeding edge and occasionally even newer. For business use reliability and solid functionality far outweighs bling eye-candy or any other ‘cool’ metric that I have ever run into or heard of.
  2. As frustrating as it was to keep being pushed to use the newest versions (I want to be able to choose if I want to be a code tester) it was when it became clear that the dev team thought that there was no value to outside control on updates/upgrades. When this became clear the combination between this and the push to always be using the newest versions to ALL associated software resulted in a ‘no way Jose’ and an immediate cessation of any further investigation.

Having had the joy of a number of times in the past regarding an unusable machine because of upgrades that were flawed in some way - - - - I just don’t have the time nor energy to function as some groups unpaid beta tester - - - so any software that doesn’t allow site control - - - - well it hits the discard chute.

The bleeding edge is not business application country - - - - when work MUST get done - - - solid is very good!


#20

@dabeegmon, thanks for the info.

Thinking out loud, would something like “ESR” channel be something that would interest you? Or would you be looking for functionality to defer/block/different action for offered updates? Or both?

What other options would make Snaps compelling for your business case, btw?

Igor