[Dev] GNOME Software, archlinux-appstream-data, and Flatpak

Christopher Davis brainblasted at disroot.org
Wed May 30 23:29:55 GMT 2018


Hello dev at lists.parabola.nu,

My name is Christopher Davis, and I contribute to various GNOME 
projects in different ways.
Most of the GNOME stack is present in Parabola, with one major 
omission: GNOME Software.
The reason provided on the blacklist is "depends on nonfree 
archlinux-appstream-data".
A little more than a month ago I reached out to the people working on 
Arch Linux regarding how
to generate something for Parabola. I was directed to the HOWTO file in 
https://sources.archlinux.org/other/packages/archlinux-appstream-data/,
which provides a detailed guide to creating the data needed by 
appstream and GNOME Software.
With this, theoretically we could put GNOME Software back in the repos. 
bill-auger pointed out another
issue, though.

Flatpak is a way to distribute and run software in a consistent, 
sandboxed environment.
I personally do not see Flatpak as a freedom issue, but there is 
apparently discussion
about removing all third-party package managers from Parabola, like pip 
and npm.
I would like to note that Flatpak is blank by default unlike pip and 
npm. There is no
central repo, and it is entirely possible to use Flatpak without 
proprietary software.
Similar to Pacman, Flatpak only uses the repos you provide. If you 
provide none it has none,
and if you provide repos with only libre software it will use that. I 
know Purism is would like
to have such a repo for the Librem 5 and PureOS.

GNOME Software uses Flatpak and the system package manager. As of now, 
it
is the only GUI that handles Flatpak bundles. As someone working on 
GNOME projects,
Flatpak is very important to my workflow, and GNOME Software is useful 
for managing
system applications. I would be interested in getting input here, and 
trying to get it back
into the repository.

Regards,
Christopher Davis
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