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A Merge Proposal to ‘Drop Snap Support’ from GNOME Software Hints at Deeper Divisions

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GNU
Linux
GNOME
Ubuntu

As you probably know, Ubuntu Software, the default software app Ubuntu ship with, is based on GNOME Software. It’s mostly the same app save for a few Snap-specific tweaks (which we’ve mentioned before) and shipping with the Snap plugin by default.

In short, the “Snap” support it offers isn’t particularly egregious or wide-reaching.

But word on the street is that Ubuntu is prepping a brand new app store exclusively tailored to Snap apps for use in a future release (but separate from the Snap’d Snap Store snap)

This has made some devs who work on GNOME Software a little …twitchy.

Kalev Lember, the dev behind the merge request to nuke the 4000 or so lines of Snap support in GNOME Software, explains:-

“Ubuntu is switching to a new snap-store app for installing and removing snaps. This commit drops the snap backend from gnome-software to avoid maintenance overhead.”

Reasonable. Why should they shoulder the burden of working around Snap-specific code if Ubuntu, the only distro making use of it, don’t plan to use it longterm?

Read more

More on this feud

  • GNOME Software Moving Forward With Disabling Snap Plugin

    While currently Ubuntu makes use of GNOME Software as their "software center" (or "app store") with Snap integration, as we wrote about recently Canonical has begun writing their own Snap Store. Given this and that they don't plan to use GNOME Software in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and thus have taken their developers away from working on the upstream support, GNOME developers are planning to disable the Snap plug-in for GNOME Software.

  • Heads up: No more snap plugin in gnome-software

    In Fedora 31 I'll be disabling the snap plugin from GNOME Software. It's never been enabled in RHEL and so this change only affects Fedora. It's also not installed by default and so this change should only affect a few people. It's also not really a FutureFeature, it's a RemovalOfFeature but I'm happy to write something for the process and release notes if required. Recently Canonical decided that they are not going to be installing gnome-software in the next LTS, preferring instead to ship a "Snap Store by Canonical" rather than GNOME Software. The new Snap store will obviously not support Flatpaks (or packages, or even firmware updates for that matter). The developers currently assigned to work on gnome-software have been reassigned to work on Snap Store, and I'm not confident they'll be able to keep both the old and new codebases in the air at the same time.

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    GNOME developers plan to disable the Snap plugin for GNOME Software, as Canonical has started creating its own Snap Store and won't be using GNOME Software in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. According to Phoronix, "Canonical's in-development Snap Store will obviously be focused just on their own Snap effort and not supporting the likes of Flatpak. Due to the likelihood that the GNOME Software Snap plug-in will quickly suffer from bit-rot and pose a maintenance burden to GNOME developers with little to no return, it's certainly reasonable that they would at least disable this plug-in."

On it goes

  • Fedora is ‘Disabling’ the Snap Plugin for GNOME Software

    The Snap plugin for GNOME Software is being ‘disabled’ in Fedora 31, the distro’s next major release.

    Red Hat’s Richard Hughes announced the change on the Fedora developer mailing list, citing various issues with the plugins QA and long-term usefulness.

    Neal Gompa, who maintains the Snap package in Fedora, says the decision has “blindsided” him.

    So why is Fedora doing this?

    Well, code quality and concerns about the impact the plugin has on the overall GNOME Software user experience are cited:

Fedora To Disable Snap Plugin For GNOME Software

  • Fedora To Disable Snap Plugin For GNOME Software

    We recently saw a merge proposal from Canonical to replace gnome-software snap with their own Snap Store. Along the similar lines, Red Hat’s Richard Hughes has announced that Fedora will disable snap plugin for GNOME Software. His announcement comes just a day after this.

    Fedora will disable the snap plugin in its next major update release, according to Hughes. He mentions that the existing snap plugin is not very well tested and it causes general UX of GNOME software to degrade.

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