Flatpaks from a Developer's POV?

Continuing the discussion from If i think about using flatpaks on endeavouros , will you guys encourage me to do that?:

This was a fascinating read, and the differing personal viewpoints and/or biases–I appreciated them all. However, it did not clarifiy the situation as to whether Flatpaks are the future. One can ask, can developers continue to create and maintain all of these packages to run on all distributions?

What’s clear to me, is the jury is far from out on this question. I’m only mentioning Flatpak at this point, but we know there are other containerized packages with various characteristics.

The fact that Flatpak is universally distribution agnostic, must point the way to the future of how developers can get their packages into the widest distribution channels. Who sees Flatpak in the the crystal ball ?

Could Flatpak be the unifying factor in the future of package distribution? Fedora Flatpaks with Gnome seems to be establishing what could be a an open source standard according to Fedora, and even their respondents are a mixed bag.

Obviously Flatpak say they are the future, so I don’t expect any cons from them. Our ever so friendly (but outdated) YouTubers have an opinion. Yet there are dissenters.

What can you say that hasn’t already been said on it?

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I don’t have any issue with flatpaks, but only use them when I feel it is necessary. Now I’m going to grab some popcorn and wait for the conversation to start. :popcorn:

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I think this topic has been discussed ad nauseam.

If you want to use flatpaks, it is very simple to do that in Arch/:enos:.

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Sorry to disagree, but I did not see any discussion from the developer’s perspective. If so, point it out and I will move it to Pub.

Right now it is an additional thing some developers package for.

Most of the packages in flathub are community maintained.

I wouldn’t hold my breath fac :face_with_peeking_eye:
Still, it would be nice to know if package developers and maintainers enjoy the extra work, and want to continue doing it?

It’s still extra work.

For whom?

There is no consensus there either. Some developers are moving towards requiring it, others are refusing to support it at all. Most are neutral.

It is not a question with an answer.

The lounge is where it belongs to begin with.



But those are not the developers, right?

For most Arch packages as far I as I know, the arch devs build them from source, not upstream. It goes back to my point

Most devs still package debs rpm etc.

Many devs don’t package anything. It is the maintainers in the distros who do most of the packaging.

The advantage to the developer is primarily in support. When you are handling support from distros that use 5 year old ancient libraries and distros that use libraries that were just released earlier that morning support can be not a lot of fun.


Do you have issues packaging btrfs-assistant for both fedora and arch? Are there issues in libraries?

Great example. I don’t package it for Fedora. One of the Fedora package maintainers does.

That being said, both Fedora and Arch use fairly up-to-date libraries and Btrfs-Assistant doesn’t depend on much.

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I thought of asking you because you are one of the few people I know who actually develops a package.
We always get more information from personal experiences

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The developers are cutting out the middleman (the distro) so there is only a Linux version of the package.

Sure, but it’s extra work. . . and developers don’t have to wait for the mechanism that distributions have set up to get their apps to users.

It isn’t that simple. For many, making a flatpak would be extra work.

Also, by letting the distros package it themselves, it is their job to iron out compatibility problems.

Ultimately, it just depends on the specific circumstances.

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You bring up a good point @dalto. So out of date libraries become a thing of the past as long as the developer gets it right to start with.

Don’t they use runtimes (shared platforms) to solve that?

This is from Linux.com and it’s pretty old, even though much of it still holds true today.

Developers can’t use the latest libraries or frameworks to make their app more efficient or add new features if those libraries or dependencies are not available for the current version of the distro. Flatpak allows developers to use latest packages to build their apps and run on any distro without having to worry about underneath layers.

That’s good to know about Btrfs-Assistant since I am playing with Fedora 36 atm.