Removal of gnome-shell-extension-* from Universe (and stop auto-syncs)

As briefly discussed in the Ubuntu desktop team meeting, we believe that maintaining extensions that are not under the direct responsability of the Desktop team and that are published and (meant to be) updated via e.g.o it does not add any value to ubuntu, but can only create more breakage as in the recent dash-to-panel case.

Given this, we propose to:

  • Remove all the gnome-shell-extension-* packages that are in Universe
  • Stop auto-sync for them all

If community wants to maintain some of them it’s fine, but we need to have some clear statement clarifying that such support will be maintained for the whole LTS time, or we won’t be able to accept them anyways.

As per this, would be nice to have the release team opinion on such proposal.

9 Likes

I’m good with this, personally.

I think the proposed requirement from the SRU team to manually test all 40+ extensions in the Ubuntu archive (so long as they are still in there) when SRUing new upstream releases is completely unsustainable, and would result in practice in GNOME Shell updates, containing important bug fixes, not being SRUed at all. This seems like the only feasible way out to me.

On balance I think deferring to the method that GNOME upstream provides, extensions.gnome.org, offers an acceptable experience given this new requirement. In the very slim chance that there is a break in a stable release, the upstream extension author is able to directly ship a fix. This seems very unlikely to happen in practice in Ubuntu until after the problem surfaces in -updates. The obvious downside is that the functional stability provided by the distro is not guaranteed any more.

Interested in hearing the opinions of other members of the desktop & release teams, though.

3 Likes

Wearing my SRU team hat (I do not own a release team hat), I’m in favour of this plan as it seems like the only reasonable way to get gnome-shell updated in stable releases without regressing extension packages in the archive that nobody is looking after. This is one case where autosync from Debian is harmful for us. Specifically, the harmful alternatives are:

  1. Risk regressing extension packages pulled in [and released] by autosync when we SRU gnome-shell because nobody will be testing them.

  2. Require a very large amount of work testing all the extension packages for regressions before landing any gnome-shell microrelease update.

Given that extension packages are available out-of-archive anyway, it seems to me that for unmaintained extension packages, a better option would be not to release with them at all.

I don’t think it’s fair to frame this as a new requirement. It has always been the requirement to perform adequate testing before landing SRUs. The only thing that has changed is that we now understand that gnome-shell upstream microreleases are not stable with respect to extension packages. This means that what we previously considered to be “adequate testing” clearly isn’t adequate.

2 Likes

My 2p as a user: I never install extensions from the package manager, but from the gnome extensions website. I can only imagine the burden on you maintainers of keeping up with breakage and whatnot on stuff users should be getting via the proper upstream channel.

1 Like

Sorry for bring up edge cases, but there are some source packages that provide a GNOME Shell extension that extends an app. Sometimes, the extension is a separate binary package like gpaste; sometimes it’s not like gnome-shell-pomodoro. This isn’t something that can be completely provided by extensions.gnome.org (Neither of these are provided on that website.)

There are a few other examples you can find by browsing the output of

apt-file search /usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions/
4 Likes

I second what Jeremy has written above, please don’t remove the applications that package shell extensions because those kinds of extensions are not published on the extensions’ website.

3 Likes

Good to hear, can we compile a list of those?

1 Like

I’m very sorry to hear this, as I always use dash-to-panel from the repos for stability (and recently SRUed that as mentioned by @3v1n0), but indeed I understand that the current situation is unsustainable. So, are all extension being removed entirely or will they move to a different repo (like multiverse)?

2 Likes

allowlist of GNOME Shell Extensions

Default Install

gnome-shell-extension-appindicator
gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons-ng
gnome-shell-extension-ubuntu-dock

Maintained by GNOME

gnome-shell-extensions (provides the GNOME Classic extension set)

Bundled with an app or service

gnome-shell-extension-gsconnect
gnome-shell-mailnag
gnome-shell-pomodoro
gpaste
terminus
workrave-gnome

blocklist

Everything not on this list will no longer be available as an Ubuntu package (and would be added to our autosync blocklist)

1 Like

While I have no strong opinion on this topic, the timing for doing it is not optimal considering that the FF .deb just has been dropped and the FF snap does currently not have the ability to install extensions directly from GNOME.

2 Likes

Thank you for your feedback! Our goal is for the Firefox snap to support web extensions including the GNOME Shell extensions helper by the time Ubuntu 22.04 LTS is released.

Also, we will have mjakeman’s very useful GNOME Shell Extensions Manager app available in the Ubuntu 22.04 LTS repositories (but not installed by default). OMG! Ubuntu has a new post today about the latest 0.3 version (I think we’ll be able to get that version packaged for 22.04 too). You can install extensions directly from the app; no web browser needed.

3 Likes

Thanks for replying.

If that goal is achieved, there is no problem of course. Maybe I’m too pessimistic.

3 Likes

Thank you for working on this!

As above I’m in favour of this plan, but can I just check that you’re aware that you need an approval from the release team to remove the other extension packages? I think you’d need to add them to the autosync blocklist as well.

We filed https://launchpad.net/bugs/1966516 to implement this.

1 Like

All the extra GNOME Shell extensions were removed from the Ubuntu 22.04 apt archives earlier today.

Post removed by author, wrong category.

@jbicha is the new extension manager app now available in repos?
I’m unable to find it.

1 Like

Is that what I guess? I hope not to be wrong.

@oSoMoN

:star_struck: