Top-level package names, UX questions

Martin Albisetti martin.albisetti at
Mon Mar 16 20:04:30 UTC 2015

On Mon, Mar 16, 2015 at 4:41 PM, Mark Shuttleworth <mark at> wrote:
> So I think I would be +1 on:
>  * anybody can use any name for a package
>  * some packages are "mainline" or "official" and can be installed just
> by package name ("wizard")
>  * developer packages are installed with explicit reference to the
> developer account ("sabdfl's wizard")
>  * commands are always "package.command" unless they are frameworks
>  * the existence of a mainline package doesn't mean developer packages
> are replaced automatically (no unexpected consequences)
>  * users must choose which version of a package they want, either
> mainline or developer
>  * sometimes, developers will need to coordinate with one another or
> with canonical

I like this proposal. We loose the ability to let you be able to use
both wizards at the same time in that case, but it does seem like in
return we get a lot back in typing awkward names many times during the
My assumption is that this would work in a similar fashion as
update-alternatives works today for java and such on the desktop.

So from an implementation perspective, this is what I understand has consensus:
1) Manifest files will always contain the developer-keyed name, no changes here
2) The store will provide a separate blob of metadata on download,
that contains whether this app has an official alias and what it is
(there will be other uses for this blob in the future)
3) The snappy client will need to be able to understand that a
packages might conflict in naming, and offer the user a choice with
enough information when that occurs
4) You will install "wizard" and on disk it will be "sabdfl's wizard"

Did I parse the conversation correctly?

> We do have a mechanism to rename installed packages, which we hope not
> to use often but it is possible, at least.


> At this stage, I'll rest my wizard :)

Oiling up the engines for W I see!

Thanks for all the feedback. Unless I misunderstood anything hugely,
we should be close to completing this feature.


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