Docs for snapcraft

Vincent JOBARD vinzjobard at
Wed Jun 1 09:28:26 UTC 2016

Hi there,

I'm not a specialist but as evangelist this is a resume of my exchange with
many devs, on IT forums, social networks and so on, since snaps were
announced to personnal desktop.

Devs don't want to manage with another package format where they have to
manage all the dependances, seccomp filters and App Armor profile.

Devs want to devs, they don't want to package, except maybe those who
targets Snappy Ubuntu Core as a base plateform for innovation. But as I
understand, in this particular case, lots of them belong to Canonical
partners, and have particular relationship with Canonical devs, that could

Other devs will only package their apps in snaps if it's very easy to do
and if it doesn't take so much time, and maybe be integrated into their
integration processus (I push my code on my git repo and the snap will be
automatically generated, is generally what devs wanted to embrace snap

So I think, as evangelist, that snapcraft have to be a primary target to
promote snaps. Else, non pro-Ubuntu devs will never use it


On Wed, Jun 1, 2016 at 8:35 AM Didier Roche <didrocks at> wrote:

> Le 01/06/2016 08:30, Mark Shuttleworth a écrit :
> > On 01/06/16 07:23, Didier Roche wrote:
> >>
> >>>> Personally I think snapcraft is amazing, but it does create an extra
> >>>> layer of abstraction to push through, which may be confusing to
> someone
> >>>> just starting out.
> >>>>
> >>>> Thoughts?
> >>> My thoughts are biased towards trying to use snapcraft for everything
> >>> but we should not block on people wanting to do whatever they want
> >>> during their creative process.
> >> Of course, explaining the base concept (file system and such) is
> >> important, but that can happen once we have 3-4 success of the virtuous
> >> loop I explained above and having the base concepts nicely shaped in
> >> developer's head.
> >> Then, we can introduce a bug for instance as the next step, and see how
> >> to debug/inspect it. This is when the snapcraft lifecycle concept, and
> >> the snap/ directory can be introduced, exploring this way the snap (and
> >> not snapcraft) concepts like meta/snap.yaml, wrapper, and file system…
> >
> > Right, we agree on the basics. Here's the challenge - the smartest
> > people don't sit down to write a simple snap. They want to make a snap
> > of the thing they care about, which is probably big and ugly inside
> > because it's been around enough for someone to care about it.
> >
> > So, in that environment, learning snapcraft is a big layer of
> > indirection, and worse, if you hit the limits of snapcraft and have to
> > start writing a plugin, you are spending time and effort on something
> > you don't care about in order to get to something you DO care about.
> >
> > That same person could probably MANUALLY construct a snap, as long as
> > they know what the constraints are. They can manually build their code,
> > they can build and copy, they can jiggle things to work.
> >
> > I love snapcraft and believe we will make it perfect. But right now, I
> > see a lot of people hitting its limits and being baffled as to what it
> > is doing and why. Smart people saying "I give up because I can't even
> > get a bash script to work in a snap". That's a problem we must face head
> > on, not deny.
> Fair enough, and I understand your feeling there.
> I'm letting the floor opened for others to comment :)
> Cheers,
> Didier
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