Snappy 16.04 survey summary

Daniel Holbach daniel.holbach at
Wed Mar 16 13:34:28 UTC 2016

Hello everybody,

Didier and I conducted a short survey consisting of two parts:

Experience with Snappy 16.04
Feedback on new approach for examples of building apps with Snappy 16.04

We had about 20 responses, some incomplete, so 16 in total. The scope
was Snappy 16.04, which might have excluded users who haven’t reviewed
the newest in Snappy yet.

Below is a short summary of the findings, I’ll attach a summary of the
individual replies at the bottom. Make sure you read it too, it includes
some really nice quotes.


One of the questions asked which background or interest in Snappy the
audience had and the responses included: community members, innovators,
app builders, industrial automation, IoT gateway, security, ARM support,
commercial software prople, product management, robot builders and
people from Canonical.

Experience with Snappy

The overall feedback was very good. It appears that people really like
Snappy’s concept and the gap it fills. Positively mentioned were
explicitly (among other things) the containment story and the process of

Seen as lacking at the moment was mostly documentation (missing
examples, missing use-cases, some concepts which are harder to
understand) and stability (somewhat expected in the development cycle).
Some worries were brought up about the general state of completion of
the all-snaps story, the library story and if 16.04 will see full
containment of snaps and the rate of renaming things.

Some responders also brought up some requests. Among them was the
request for a realtime preempt kernel and Ubuntu SDK/IDE support (others
wanted a GUI for snappy/snapcraft).

Results on the new examples proposal

Fewer people commented on this part (only 9 persons gave feedback),
probably due to the additional time it requested to look at it.

The general feedback is really supportive of this new approach and not
much was added on the examples structures ( and scope.

On the opened question for additional examples idea, we note some
kernel, gadget and framework examples (those will come as soon as
snapcraft have better support for this), shared libraries, mosquitto (or
communication framework in general), interfaces exposure. Generally, the
requests are around “add as many use case as well” as industrial
automations, (which are more demos than examples).

Summary of responses

The responses below are anonymised and somewhat summarised for easier
reading. They’re still valuable feedback and should be reviewed:

 - Community/general hacks
 - Builds snappy apps
 - Innovator
 - Industrial Automation and IoT Gateway
 - Snappy Security
 - Interested in Open Source and their customer want to use
   MCU like with Open source linux.
 - ARM support
 - Packages commercial software for Ubuntu and hope snappy will
   make managing, updating, and shipping dependencies less of a
   pain than a group of deb packages.
 - Works on snaps and tried various images.
 - Product management.
 - Works on the store.
 - Relies on snappy to deliver snaps that will be leveraged by
   other snaps.
 - Works on robots.

Feedback about 16.04 Snappy

 - Snappy is moving things: “We are at the end of a technology
   cycle, developing stuff for today's needs is an extremely
   long process, please try to start it!”
 - Likes Snappy’s speed.
 - The respondent hasn’t started investigating Snappy yet, but
   likes that it’s a new technology and its stability.
 - Enjoy Snappy’s Package management concept.
 - Really wants containment, Snappy would also work in a
   rolling release model.
 - Likes .snaps. Says we should include them in 16.04.
 - “It really brings ubuntu into a new world without lots of
   baggage, and opens the door for new ways of thinking about
   developing for iot”.
 - Wants to see Snaps on classic Ubuntu. “Keep going! Right
   thing, right time :)”.
 - Likes that building snaps has improved from 16.04 to 15.04.
 - Likes the process of snapping. Really enjoys the platform.

 - Docs a bit hard to grasp, sometimes too complex.
 - Wants things to be easier to use. Sees no bugs, but wants
   more stability.
 - No specific bugs in mind, but would like to have to intervene
   less. Raspberry Pi seems to be lacking.
 - Current biggest issue is golang in qemu doesn't support
 - Is concerned that containment of snappy apps may not make
   it in 16.04.
 - Says snappy needs more docs and examples.
 - Suffers from docker not working in their country. Snappy seems
   to sometimes fail to update or rollback the snappy(ubuntu-core)
   on BBB. Wants to see more compatibility for ARM. Really likes it
   but sees lots of things which need completion.
 - Needs more docs, says “Security model is tricky to understand
   and work with”. Completeness of the all-snap story is missing.
 - Would like to see good stable, documentation for building snaps.
   Has seen serious problems with documentation and examples.
 - Wants some means to utilize shared libraries, especially where
   there may be a variety of vendor specific implementations. e.g.
   OpenGL/GLES. Feels the shared library story is missing the most.
 - Wants communication between snaps and more stability in the
   naming of things.

 - Request for pkg-man (massive automated deploys, rollback etc.),
   “SUN with OpenSolaris IPS and BE open the door”. Mentioned
   that Snappy is not general-purpose pkg-man. MAAS being specific
   to a restricted server area. Design-wise snappy should use zfs.
   Request for drop-in replacement of apt/dpkg with delta-upgrade,
   OpenSolaris/IllumOS BE (os clone and rollbacks), easy to
   automate (no more debconf!).
 - Want to see a realtime Preempt Kernel.
 - Would like to see Ubuntu SDK / IDE support.
 - GUI for snappy.
 - Hopes that that needing an Ubuntu One account and publishing
   snaps to the store will not make our development, testing, and
   deployment cycles more difficult. Currently we use our own
   reprepro server with multiple sections for our deb packages.
 - GUI for snapcraft.

 - Is the Store API is documented? Yes,

New examples approach:
 - 9 out of 16 commented on this and all liked the idea.
 - Additional examples requested were:
   - “as many features and use-cases as possible”
   - Focus on building stuff
   - examples around industrial automation
   - kernel, gadget and framework examples
   - more detailed docs and examples which combine various
     concepts, especially around interfaces. “Components that
     depend on, or even talk to each other in order to form a
     larger service. Snaps that provide functionality to other
     snaps. A blog or similar that walks the user through
     debugging problems and fixing basic issues would be
   - shared library examples
   - mosquitto examples
   - examples about interfaces

Have a great day,
 Daniel and Didier

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