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#1 2022-11-22 16:20:47

cL2N05
Member
Registered: 2021-02-19
Posts: 6

Flatpak and the arch project (wiki discussion/question)

This is about the information on the wiki, not any discussion about flatpak itself.

Looking at the AUR wiki page and flatpak wiki page, I'm left with many (hopefully not dumb) questions not being addressed.

Example from the AUR wiki page explaining:
    * User contribution not being official
    * Risk of use
    * License requirements 
    * Relation to arch (official/unoffical, supported or not)
    * aur helpers in repo is not supported
    * alternatives

example from the flatpak wiki page vaguely stating:

   * "Flatpak is a system for building, distributing and running sandboxed desktop applications on Linux."
   * "applications can be built and distributed independently from the host system they are used on, and they are isolated from the host system ('sandboxed') to some degree, at runtime."

Questions that I have:
   * I dont understand how "they are isolated to some degree, at runtime". Its not ensured at all as its not required. Its a weird way to explain it to users needing wiki.
    * Why dont the same requirements apply? How can flatpak be in extra when not meeting License requirements for builds,appstream for deps?
    * Some user can push from any upstream to aur with PKGBUILD, just like they can push from upstream to flathub with manifest. Why is one supported unlike the other ?
   * Doesn't the same risk apply ?
   * How flatpak fits with the arch project?

Asking here as I'm unsure whether its wiki stuff or not? Anyway, some easy level insight would be appreciated smile


Thanks!

edit: formatting GG. Fail sad

Last edited by cL2N05 (2022-11-22 16:46:25)

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#2 2022-11-22 16:42:44

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 33,633

Re: Flatpak and the arch project (wiki discussion/question)

The flatpak wiki simply cites some of its self-description.
You've already identified that flatpak vague and vaguely incorrect…

The AUR is an infrastructure to extend the arch package database beyond trusted users - flatpak is simply some other software that can break your system.
It's not related to the arch distribution system at all.
AND: the wiki doesn't address any of the flatpaks you can get on some shady corners of the internet, but simply the flatpak binares and libraries itself.
Flatpak is kinda like wine itr.
You can install windows software w/ windows installer using wine; that doesn't make wine anything like the Arch User Repos.

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#3 2022-11-22 16:55:13

cL2N05
Member
Registered: 2021-02-19
Posts: 6

Re: Flatpak and the arch project (wiki discussion/question)

seth wrote:

the wiki doesn't address any of the flatpaks you can get on some shady corners of the internet, but simply the flatpak binares and libraries itself.

I assumed flathub being part of that install, but might not change anything in lieu of the wine analogy. Thanks smile

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#4 2022-11-22 17:02:29

Trilby
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Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 27,575
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Re: Flatpak and the arch project (wiki discussion/question)

Caveats:
1. I'm biased.  My comments below are intended to stick to objective points, but they may be colored by my unfavorable view of flatpak
2. I have no first hand experience with flatpak.  But I don't think that limits comments on licensing and whether the distribution framework could be in the repos.

cL2N05 wrote:

I dont understand how "they are isolated to some degree, at runtime"

That is one of the goals of flatpak as defined by the upstream developers.  To what degree they acheive this goal could be debated, but it seems to be a suitable statement of the intent doesn't it?  That said, if you have knowledge to help that be a more informative or meaningful statement, feel free to edit it (it's a wiki).

cL2NO5 wrote:

Why dont the same requirements apply? How can flatpak be in extra when not meeting License requirements for builds,appstream for deps?

Which requirement(s) are you referring to?  The flatpak distribution framework is in [extra].  It is distributed under the LGPL license.  Individual flatpak "apps" are not in the main repos.  The requirements are the same.

Licensing issues is one of many reasons why a package might have to remain in the AUR and not be distributed in a binary form through one of the main repos.  But this does not mean all AUR packages have licensing issues preventing them from being distributed nor that licensing issues are the only (or even common) reason for AUR packages to not be in the repos.  But more on point it's AUR helpers that would be analogous to the flatpak distribution framework that is in [extra].  And there is no licensing issue that would prevent any AUR helper that I'm aware of from being packaged in the repos.  AUR helpers are not in the main repos for other reasons (primarily because no dev/TU cares to package them, and secondarily because most of them suck, and tertiarily - and related to the primary reason - most devs/TUs likely believe that if one can't build the AUR helper, they really shouldn't be using it).

cL2NO5 wrote:

Some user can push from any upstream to aur with PKGBUILD, just like they can push from upstream to flathub with manifest. Why is one supported unlike the other ?

Where did you get the idea that flatpak apps are "supported"?  They aren't.  Archers are allowed to use them, just as archers are allowed to use AUR packages.  Users can even ask for hlpe on these forums when a flapak app breaks just as they can when an AUR package breaks.  They just can't file a bug with the arch dev team(s) if / when an AUR package or flatpak app is broken (technically they could, but it'd be deleted likely without any comment).  Neither flatpak apps nor aur packages are officially supported - they're in the same boat.

cL2N05 wrote:

Doesn't the same risk apply?

Not to sound too facetious, but that depends on what you mean by "risk" ... and what you mean by "same".  There are many similar risks.  There are risks unique to each.  There are risks in everything.  But yes, overall, many of the same risks apply.  Users should be aware of the risks and benefits of any software they use.

cL2N05 wrote:

How flatpak fits with the arch project?

Not very well if you ask me!  Oh darn, there's my bias.  But is this meant to be an objective question?  I'm not sure what you mean here as this just sounds like a request for completely subjective feelings about flatpak.  The flatpak distribution framework is a bit of software that someone else wrote that some archers may want to use and some developer felt inclined to package it and put it in [extra].  Just the same could be said of every other package in [extra].  So it seems to fit just fine in that regard.  Why single out the flatpak distribution framework for questioning over any other package in [extra]?  Why not ask how qemu fits with the arch project?  Qemu doesn't just allow users to run "sandboxed" apps, but whole "sandboxed" operating systems.  Those guest operating systems aren't supported - but we can still package qemu in the repos.


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#5 2022-11-22 17:17:56

cL2N05
Member
Registered: 2021-02-19
Posts: 6

Re: Flatpak and the arch project (wiki discussion/question)

Thank you for taking the time to explain in such detail !! smile - Especially the examples of better questions to ask oneself throughout your comment.

Appreciated and I have some thinking to do. tongue

edit: I havent addressed the parts that didnt make sense for you. Clearly I had some wrong assumptions and comparisons. Which is why I asked here rather than write on the wiki. Rather not pollute wiki with my dumbass.

Last edited by cL2N05 (2022-11-22 18:09:26)

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#6 2022-11-22 17:34:54

cL2N05
Member
Registered: 2021-02-19
Posts: 6

Re: Flatpak and the arch project (wiki discussion/question)

If you dont mind a follow up.

trilby wrote:

To what degree they acheive this goal could be debated, but it seems to be a suitable statement of the intent doesn't it? 

I'm not sure why, but I realize I have been assuming that there would be a note if the intent was far from the actual. As in, if the intent doesnt fit with what the software does or in the way it behaves, why would there not be a mention of it.

Not sure why I assumed that. -but thats on me

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#7 2022-11-22 17:37:59

VoDo
Member
From: Europe
Registered: 2020-06-04
Posts: 106

Re: Flatpak and the arch project (wiki discussion/question)

@seth few months ago flatpak was installed as a dependency of something what did not need it previously.
EDIT:
it was dependcy as I found on reddit and then "fixed"
Flatpak removed as a dependency of gnome-control-centre

Last edited by VoDo (2022-11-22 17:41:33)


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