Docs for snapcraft

Reinhard Pointner reinhard.pointner at
Wed Jun 1 10:01:34 UTC 2016


If you want to target the Ubuntu Software Center / App Store then Snappy is
a given. If you like it or not. (Personally, I like snappy, though it's
still a bit rough on the edges). Snappy (thanks to snapcraft) is not
difficult and quite easy to get a hang of even in the current state.
Wix/MSI is a nightmare in comparison even if you copy and paste everything
from stackoverflow.

The main issue is the lack of "real" examples. Hello World examples don't
cut it for real desktop apps (that crash with all kinds of weird UI
framework issues when run in confined mode). More than documentation, more
"real world" examples that show what is currently possible and what isn't,
would be far more helpful.

That being said, snappy for the desktop is under extremely active
development now, and there should be weekly/bi-weekly updates for snapd
now. There's a lot of major show stoppers for snappy desktop apps, that
either make things hard or impossible, but now that people start using it,
these things will get figured out over the next few months.


On 1 June 2016 at 17:28, Vincent JOBARD <vinzjobard at> wrote:

> 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
> help.
> 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
> technology)
> 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
> Cheers
> Winael
> 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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