Linux News Today: Shuttleworth Doesn't Expect Other OSes to Want to Fetch Snaps from Ubuntu Store
When Canonical announced last week that their Snappy implementation is ready for use on some of the major GNU/Linux operating systems, including Debian, Arch Linux, and OpenWrt, some were revolted and started questioning Canonical’s approach to delivering Snaps to other distros.
The main question on everyone’s lips was “Why there’s no Snappy server source code?”. Some users have accused Canonical of many things related to their Snap announcement, in particular that they don’t deliver an open source Snappy Store where everyone can see what exactly happens with their Snaps when they are added via the snapcraft.io website.
One of the steps in the instructions provided on the snapcraft.io website for application developers who wanted to deliver their apps as Snaps across multiple GNU/Linux distributions was to publish them in the Ubuntu Snappy Store, but not before they created an account and agreed to the Ubuntu CLA (Contributor License Agreement).
Snaps are not intrinsically tied to a store
A few moments ago, June 23, 2016, Canonical and Ubuntu founder, Mark Shuttleworth, shed some light on this matter by informing the community that, by design, Snaps aren’t in fact tied to a store, which means that application developers can make their own stores on their own terms. Also, he doesn’t expect other distros to want to fetch Snap packages from the Ubuntu Snappy Store.
“The Snap *format* is not intrinsically tied to a store. You can stand up a Snap on a system regardless of how it arrived at that system. So the current store implementation is not particularly relevant,” said Mark Shuttleworth. “I would not expect other distros to want to fetch Snaps from Ubuntu unless there were useful Snaps for them there, Snaps could easily be served from Debian.org.”
He also responds to those who accused Canonical of not playing fair with their Snap format by saying “In a sense, Snaps are being punished for being ahead – of course there is a sophisticated store in Ubuntu, we’ve been doing mobile and IoT and commercial stores for several years. But that’s no reason to denigrate Snaps themselves, quite the opposite.”
According to Mark Shuttleworth, the simplest approach for application developers to deliver their apps as Snaps from their own store would be to offer them over HTTPS (Secure HTTP). He thinks that this should be implemented in the Snap code itself for it to be more obvious to those who want to choose the Snap format for distributing apps across multiple distros. Of course, you are always free to choose any other existing similar solution, including the newly announced Flatpak, or AppImage.