A UX question about requiring users to pass in --classic

Jamie Strandboge jamie at canonical.com
Fri Jan 27 19:32:13 UTC 2017

On Fri, 2017-01-27 at 17:40 +0000, Adam Stokes wrote:
> Since releasing the conjure-up snap I have gotten a few questions as to why
> we have to pass in --classic when the snapcraft.yaml defines the
> confinement mode already.
> I understand that this is similar to if a user was to snap install a snap
> that was strictly devmode. We do want make the user aware of what they are
> installing and any possible caveats that go along with that. Forcing the
> use of --classic and --devmode make sense in the overall picture, however,
> cosmetically and user happiness (i guess?) this just seems like a _lot_ of
> typing.
> So I'm not arguing the use of --classic or --devmode but what if we take
> another approach and treat both --classic and --devmode as a 'force/yes' in
> the apt world and provide a simple Y/n prompt asking the user if they are
> sure they wish to install said snap because of it's current confinement
> mode?
> I much rather advertise running:
> $ snap install conjure-up
> And the experience be:
> Fetching info..checking confinement mode..
> This is a classic snap, are you sure you wish to continue? [Y/n]
> conjure-up installed
AIUI (please correct me) the reason why we have --classic and --devmode is very
intentional so that the user has to type and think about what is happening since
this is allowing the publisher access to everything on your system. The example
text in the prompt you provide doesn't convey this and I worry that what many
people will see (regardless of phrasing) is:

$ snap install foo
blah blah..checking blah blah..
Do you want me to install what you just told me to install? [Y/n] y
foo installed

Jamie Strandboge             | http://www.canonical.com

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