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Offline grafiksinc

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FlatPak news
« on: October 25, 2017, 07:46:16 pm »
So with the recent news that Linux Mint will push FlatPaks--
http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2017/10/linux-mint-18-3-adding-full-support-flatpak

I gotta say I like this. My IDE runs from a FlatPak and that was a blessing when they moved in that direction. Made life easier with all the dependencies MONO requires.
I have run across Snaps this year and it has been hit or miss if they worked or not.  Of course it depends I suppose who created the package and if it was done correctly.  ;)




Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: FlatPak news
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2017, 08:02:08 am »
Personally I'm yet to be fully convinced by any of them (flatpack/snap/appimage), it all 'feels' a bit like a move in the direction of Microsofts binary executable installer model where people can and will be tempted to download software from all over the place, all of which carries all its dependencies with it.

Dependencies installed multiple times wasting space right when we're moving to SSD's where disk space is at a premium again.

A move away from central repositories (even where both Apple and Microsoft are now seeing the benefits and moving TOWARDS that model).

The availability of fully functional malicious code downloaded from untrustworthy sources with no repository style oversight.

And as far as snap goes, a single point of failure and/or a single point attack vector in the two packages that they do depend on 'snapd' and 'core'.

Some of these 'problems' may be mitigated or worked around (by things like containerisation, etc.) but I'm not sure there's any standards set in stone and proven yet, it's all still in flux, so I'm waiting to see where it ends up.

I just have a nasty feeling Linux is ditching one of its greatest strengths for no good reason, and all with a view to becoming more like an OS that most Linux users decided they didn't like in the first place. I'm just worried this is an attempt to draw in a non existent audience at the expense of the current security conscious userbase and is all completely unnecessary.

I must admit at this point that I'm not super knowledgeable about any of these technologies so I could be totally wrong .. as I said, I'm waiting to see where they end up before passing final/full judgement.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 04:55:06 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline pin

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Re: FlatPak news
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2017, 08:35:10 am »
This, http://www.monodevelop.com/download/linux/
is not good! :o
I don't use mono myself, but packages only being supplied through flatpak doesn't seem to me like the best way to go.  :'(
Also, flatpak is coming from Alex Larsson, senior software engineer at...  ;) RedHat !!! ;)

My experience with flatpak is very much limited. I've tried it on Void linux since I use Void with musl libC base instead of glibC. There's no way to get things like Spotify to work on musl libC base other than using flatpak.
The problem was that it didn't work anyway due to issues that the flatpak devs claim to be on the Spotify side. Spotify works just fine on my main PC running Peppermint 7  :D
Solution to my problem? Removed everything that had something to do with flatpak and forgot about it!

So, as PCNetSpec is saying... I will also wait and see but, I'm a bit worried....
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 08:41:08 am by pin »

Offline grafiksinc

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Re: FlatPak news
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2017, 09:14:59 am »
I hear you, I was shocked when they depreciated  the MonoDevelop packages  :( and went with FlatPak
I will say it is the ONLY FlatPak package that I have, (as well I don't use Snaps either other than just curious)

I had been a longtime MonoDevelop user since v2   and just was not ready to move to another IDE yet........although geany text editor has been my working favorite lately.

I will admit at first it felt weird, but I got used to it  ;) I will say looking back from a convenience point of view it was nice to  install  just the FlatPak rather than remembering the dependencies I needed for the MonoDevelop Packages. But still I would be fine either way, 8)

To be honest I don't recall any crashes since using the FlatPak. :-\
But I will say my biggest gripe though is........ since moving to FlatPak MonoDevelop takes much longer to start than it did before.

The funny thing is  back  Jan this year while looking for a new home I just could not get FlatPak to work in UbuntuMate........
but it worked just fine on Peppermint  8) and so here I am ....... ;D







Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: FlatPak news
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2017, 09:36:13 am »
When Linux becomes Windows via a push for 'ease of use' over 'security' I'm off....

Have you ever noticed the only people that ever push the idea of a universal package management system are either

a) new users don't yet understand the benefits of the current system and just want Linux to be more like Windows.

b) lazy software devs or closed source devs .. if it's open source and good enough, it usually gets packaged for them.

c) corporations with a vested interest.

Maybe I'm being a dinosaur here, but I'm not really seeing an upside for the current userbase (?)
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 09:37:54 am by PCNetSpec »
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Offline scifidude79

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Re: FlatPak news
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2017, 09:39:13 am »
Well, as long as Ubuntu isn't making this change, we'll be fine.  Mint is a decent distro, but they're always trying to distinguish themselves by doing things differently from Ubuntu, even though they're Ubuntu based.  Last time I tried Mint, they had their own repositories with different versions of packages in them that overrode the version in the Ubuntu repositories and some of them didn't run as well as the version in the Ubuntu repos.  (IE: Steam)  I don't know why they do these things.  I don't know why they want to break away from a tried and true package management system.  I've heard of FlatPaks and other packages that allow you to install "other" software onto your Linux system, and I don't use them.  I stick with what's in the repositories.  The only exceptions are Blender, (3D software) which I get in a tarball from the Blender website, and games on GOG and Steam.  But, those are the only way to get those games.  So, Mint can do whatever they want.  Until I see concrete proof that this is better than Ubuntu's repositories, I'll stick with Ubuntu's repositories.

A move away from central repositories (even where both Apple and Microsoft are now seeing the benefits and moving TOWARDS that model).

Yeah, but I'm sure Apple and Microsoft are doing it for monetary reasons, not because it's better, even though it is.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 09:40:54 am by scifidude79 »

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: FlatPak news
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2017, 09:55:56 am »
I don't doubt their 'reasoning' is different to ours, but it doesn't negate the benefits .. they too are seeing the benefits of tighter software source management (but sure for differing reasons).

I'm also not suggesting the thinking behind flatpack/snap/appimage is solely to move away from a central repository system .. but it will likely be a side effect.

Whether this will turn out to weaken Linux in the long run is currently impossible to see .. hence why I'm sitting on the fence for now :)
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 09:58:33 am by PCNetSpec »
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Offline scifidude79

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Re: FlatPak news
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2017, 10:19:58 am »
Well, Mint has to do their own thing.  If they're backing FlatPaks, good for them.  There may even be some benefit to them I don't see.  However, I'll stick with what works.  ;)  (if it ain't broke, and all that)

There are some advantages to them, such as making stuff that's not available in your local repositories easier to get.  No more using software like Alien or compiling from source, if available.  That's an advantage for sure.  So, it's not like they're useless or anything.  I just wouldn't use one for software that I can get by installing from a repository.  Maybe as an augment to a traditional repository.  That may even be Mint's thinking behind backing these.  Maybe they figure app devs would rather release this kind of file, as opposed to .deb, .rpm, etc. packages for different package management systems.  If so, then that's a noble goal.  Though, I agree that some people will use these instead of the repositories, especially people coming from Windows.

Offline DAMIEN1307

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Re: FlatPak news
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2017, 11:28:08 am »
OKaaaay...lets see if i really understand this as i ought...flatpack, snap, appimage, etc and all of its ilk are basically designed to enable those using MONO and hence wine and play on linux on there computers so they can have an easy time going outside of safe linux repositories in order to download and use outside programs mainly designed for windows type users who have had it with microsoft windows but still want all of the ease of use of windows but want to have their cake and eat it too on linux and the heck with the security consequences...do i seem to perceive this in an accurate fashion?...DAMIEN
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Offline pin

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Re: FlatPak news
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2017, 11:41:56 am »
The problem is when things like, for example MonoDevelop stop distributing stuff the usual way and only provide flatpak install.

Most of the stuff on flatpak/flathub today is distributed both ways but, what will happen in the future no one knows. Where's the user choice then?? Where??
I came to Linux because I don't like to be forced into something I didn't choose.
Let's see where it ends.

What if libreoffice (or similar) is next? Would everyone be happy? Not me for sure.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 11:44:21 am by pin »

Offline scifidude79

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Re: FlatPak news
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2017, 12:53:38 pm »
I remember when LibreOffice was new and was only available for Linux as source code or a set of .rpm files.  I wasn't happy then.

Offline pin

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Re: FlatPak news
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2017, 01:05:21 pm »
I'm not saying that all was better before... ;)
...there are positive things with flatpak, it's the side effects that freak me out

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: FlatPak news
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2017, 03:38:26 pm »
OKaaaay...lets see if i really understand this as i ought...flatpack, snap, appimage, etc and all of its ilk are basically designed to enable those using MONO and hence wine and play on linux on there computers so they can have an easy time going outside of safe linux repositories in order to download and use outside programs mainly designed for windows type users who have had it with microsoft windows but still want all of the ease of use of windows but want to have their cake and eat it too on linux and the heck with the security consequences...do i seem to perceive this in an accurate fashion?...DAMIEN

No (and kinda yes)...

They have nothing specifically to do with Mono or WINE or POL, or indeed Windows software.

They are a way of packaging (usually Linux) software that includes ALL the dependencies along with the application, and runs it in an container generally isolated from the rest of the system (which is why they currently don't pick up system themeing).

Upsides are that it makes a single clickable installer that should work on any distro, and that as it contains ALL dependencies it's possible to have different versions of libraries on the same system (where say the application requires an older/newer library as a dependency than the one in the repo).

Downsides are that they'll 'generally' take up more space because of dependency duplication, having all its own dependencies allows for malicious dependencies, and the biggest downsides I see is that they will likely end up being available from all over the web which **IS** a security risk.

So it's not specifically for Mono/WINE/Windows software .. but it can also lend itself to those because the package can contain its own copies of the Mono libs/WINE/etc.

I'm not saying that all was better before... ;)
...there are positive things with flatpak, it's the side effects that freak me out

               {Hi, my name is Zac T. Ly}
                                   /
Egg ZacTLy  -->  :)

Not to mention they were supposed to be a universal package to replace the non-competing .deb/.rpm/etc. .. and we've somehow ended up with three of them competing :))
(and if none wins outright, we'll end up not only with larger packages, but also having to carry two or three times the supporting framework .. and app devs will still have to make a packaging choice)
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 03:52:34 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline DAMIEN1307

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Re: FlatPak news
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2017, 04:13:07 pm »
thank-you once again PCNetSpec for making this clear and understandable...i could see it as a security problem already but now i can see specifically where that particular security problem lies wherein...DAMIEN
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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: FlatPak news
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2017, 05:12:37 pm »
All smacks of a solution to a problem that only really exists in the minds of the uninformed to me.

The argument for goes...

But it makes life easier for noobs .. should we be ditching security to garner user numbers, or concentrating on the people who already want to be here (precisely for that security), and INFORMING new users why things are the way they are ?

But it makes life easier for software devs, they only have to make one package, so more devs will magically start developing for Linux .. bullsh**, if a software dev makes a decent Linux app and supplies the source code IT WILL GET PACKAGED by others (no need for them to do ANY packaging), c'mon do you REALLY think that's what's keeping devs from Linux. Sure it may help proprietary software easier for the devs to package, but if they have something they're convinced will sell simply PACKAGING into multiple formats is pretty trivial (proprietary software would require a degree of package maintenance but at the level of say one skilled maintainers day per year which probably isn't that much more than other OS's).
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