Flatpak Package

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Flatpak Package

Çağatay Yiğit Şahin
Hello,
I created a Flatpak<https://flatpak.org/> package for GNU Smalltalk.  I could not test it much (since I don't really know Smalltalk) but it can print "Hello World" and create a GTK+ window with a button. If you are interested, you can check it at https://gitlab.com/cagatay-y/org.gnu.Smalltalk and download<https://gitlab.com/cagatay-y/org.gnu.Smalltalk/-/jobs/artifacts/master/download?job=flatpak_bundle> the bundle. You can submit issues for bugs related to packaging and I will try to fix them.
If it is working, I plan to submit the package to Flathub. However, Flathub prefers the submitter to be the maintainer of the app. Are any of the maintainers interested? I think having a Flatpak package on Flathub would be great for the project, as it will simplify its installation for all distributions.

Regards,
Çağatay Yiğit Şahin
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Re: Flatpak Package

bill-auger
on the face of it, this interest in packaging GNU software could be
seen as encouraging; but that i dont understand the motivation for doing
this - if you do not use smalltalk yourself, and you dont know anyone
who does, and the GNU smalltalk maintainers have not asked for this

do you just go about finding random softwares to package for flatpack?
if so, that sounds like you are flattering the flatpack project by
adding smalltalk to it more than flattering smalltalk by packaging it
for flatpack

pardon my cynicism o/c - i dont speak for the project myself, but IMHO i
am quite against that sort of "kitchen-sink" packaging

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Re: Flatpak Package

bill-auger
Çağatay - you replied only to me instead of "reply all" to the list - i
will address your concern; but i do think this is important
enough to be on the public list; so there is no confusion about the
justification for avoiding flatpack, appimage, docker or any analogous
self-contained blobs - the same is as true for language-specific package
managers such as python-pip, ruby-gem, nodejs-npm, and such; but for
the opposite reason that they blindly pollute the filesystem with no
respect for existing files owned by other package managers

when using a well-supported distro, there should be no need to compile
anything yourself nor to use any alternative package managers, nor to
install software from any other source; and it is never recommended to
do so - the very purpose of a distro is to collect, compile, and
distribute popular useful software for the user - the main reason
should be obvious why it is desirable to avoid installing software from
a third-party, especially when that third-party accepts uploads from
*just anyone*; but instead, to install software using *only* your
trusted distro's package manager - this is so that you can be more
confident that the person who packaged the software that you use is
knowledgeable enough about that piece of software to maintain it
properly - that is to contrast with using software that was built by
someone who never actually used it themselves - some who you most
likely can not even verify their identity

therefore, one should never fear breaking their system by using the
distro's package manager - or else that is to say that one does not
trust the distro packager - which is to say that one does not trust
their distro - which means one should probably find a more trustworthy
distro to get their software from - if it ever happens that an official
distro package breaks the system, that is considered by an responsible
distro to be a severe bug and a high-priority task of the distro to
correct that as soon as possible - as long as one avoids rolling
distros, the user should always be confident that the distro package
manager will not break anything

as for this particular case of GNU smalltalk, it is true that the GUI
class browser does not work in the packages of several distros - that is
a known issue - (it works just fine on parabola now - BTW) - but
the primary feature that distinguishes GNU smalltalk from other
smalltalks is that it does not require a graphical environmment - it is
fully suitable to be used from the command line; and it's programs can
be written in your choice of text editor - the squeak-ish GUI browser
is really not necessary and is barely even mentioned in the
documentation - if you just start using GNU smalltalk with your text editor and
terminal as described in the documentation, i think you will find that
it is fully functional

again, i am not speaking for this project; but i assume that the reason
a high-priority was not given to fixing the GUI class browser is
because that is considered to be a non-essential component

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Re: Flatpak Package

bill-auger
just to be clear that i am not trying to discourage your efforts - you
saw a problem and you solved it; not only for yourself but in a way
that could benefit others also - that is a very good thing - quite
awesome in fact - i only meant to point out that flatpacks are not the
ideal solutions to such problems

if the problem you wanted to solve is "the gst-browser does not work in
fedora"; then the better solution would be to contact the fedora
packager and ask why it is broken and how could you help to fix the
fedora package - they may have said its a known problem upstream and we
can not fix it here - then the next thing to do would be to contact the
GNU smalltalk developers and see what could be done to fix the problem

to bypass the upstreams and instead package it for flatpack is not as
helpful as it may seem - for one thing, most fedora users will not know
that your package exists and if they did, they should not want to use
it for the reasons i mentioned in the previous message - if the version
that their distro packages is broken, i think they are more likely to
lose interest in the program entirely,, rather than to seek
an alternative distribution channel

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