Terminology cleanup: snaps vs. apps

Gustavo Niemeyer gustavo.niemeyer at canonical.com
Wed Jan 6 17:24:52 UTC 2016

Hello snappers, and happy new year!

This is a short note coming from the terminology room to help us all be on
the same track.

In the code base we have several different ways we call a "snap": a part,
an app, a pkg, and an actual snap. We've been slowly but consistently
cleaning this up so we have *snap* only.

To make such terminology discussions even more interesting, though, in the
recent sprint we decided to get rid of the term "binaries" in the snap
metadata and replace it with "apps", which officially introduces back the
term "app", but now meaning a runnable program within a snap.

Fortunately, this aligns well with the idea that we had a snap type named
"app" (we also have "os", "kernel", and "gadget" snap types). So an "app"
snap type has the main purpose of carrying apps. All good on that front.

Some other corners still need polishing, though, and some of those will
surface in a visible way to applications. For example, we have the mouthful
SNAP_APP_USER_DATA_PATH, which has a sparing "app" there meaning nothing.
I'm hoping we can cut that down to simply SNAP_USER_DATA or similar in the
coming weeks, with its friends following along.

We'll send a note about such changes in due time, and will be careful to
introduce them while preserving compatibility for a while.

For now, this is just a heads up, and a proposal for us to use the
terminology consistently in our snappy-related conversations.

gustavo @ http://niemeyer.net
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