Your Comments and Feedback on the Desktop Experience AND the Community/Contributor Experience

and this (admittedly rather awful) experiment to gain wide user feedback resulted in the improvements that allow you today to have a firefox snap on the system that does not start noticeable slower than the deb …

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My opinion

  • Bring Unity back.
  • Improve snaps starts
  • Make Ubuntu more efficient to use less resources, to a Celeron with 2 cores and 8gb ram use it without a long wait to open an app

The most important, fix the bugs. You have a lot of bugs now about touchpad, without anyone touching them
Regards
Miguel
PS: Unity for me was/is the best DE to work with

yeah, i guess i would know …

note that it is not only taking control away from you but also from us, snaps are designed to give as much control to upstreams/packagers in a way that do not require a ton of manpower for reviewing each and every line of code …

i know that you have been around in the community at the time where we tried to allow third party apps packaged as debs into the software center … and it took man weeks/months to actually approve them (see https://wiki.ubuntu.com/AppDevUploadProcess)

in the long term snaps should work not differently to apps on your android/apple phone and simply pop up a permission dialog on first access of a resource an app tries (microphone, camera, audio playback, you name it) which gives you 100% of control over the app …

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Popup for updates is annoying as hell. This update thingy should be integrated with gnome as fedora has it, but on the shutdown dialog it should be disabled by default.

As others have said pipewire and btrfs.

For gaming latest or latest lts kernel. Faster flatpak updates. In 21.10 it is still 1.10 while 1.12 fixes a problem with pressure-vessel for steam.

If I’m not mistaken, gnome-software is not installed by default and when manually installed, it defaults to snap packages - imo this should stay on Deb/flatpak. Ubuntu store should do snaps.

Consider replacing default video player with celluloid.

Since the browsers are now snaps, gnome extensions cannot be installed via browsers by default (saw it reported online). Either epiphany or some other way is to be used. If possible, extend the gnome-extensions-app to be able to install extensions from web and have it installed by default also in minimal install.

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flatpak comes as is from debian, you should try to speed it up there …

this would be a bug, Ubuntu Store does deb and snap by default just like gnome-software (for which you can additionally install gnome-software-plugin-flatpak), if this is not the case for you you should really report it on launchpad.

This will be fixed by 22.04 …

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Please remove Snaps. Thanks.

Big fan of ubuntu, and still using it. But the not invented here syndrome seems to be a problem. Hope resources and effort are directed to useful things that benefit all Linux distributions.

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Please remove snaps. Please stick to the official package management.
I don’t want to keep a copy of the same library over and over again.

If an application is so badly written and needs a copy of an existing library, it’s the problem of the library and there are nice ways to solve this outside snaps ecosystem.

What I hate mostly about snaps: IT POLLUTES MY MOUNTS. I don’t want to have virtually endless mounted virtual devices…

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could you elaborate what you mean by this ?

since we started Ubuntu we had the problem that ISVs approached us to allow their third party software into the distro (see my answer to oli above that shows one of the approaches that bound a massive amount of manpower) … another way for an ISV to get their software into Ubuntu was the paid for (and expensive) partner archive …

When snaps were originally designed in 2014 to solve this problem there was no similar packaging system around that could have served this purpose.

so i do not get where anything could be suffering from NIH … (note that flatpak only came around 2y later and that flatpak is solely to deliver desktop applications, while snap is a fully fledged package format (there are server, cli app and even kernel and bootloader snaps around))

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i think instead of thinking about removing snap packages, we should focus on improving it’s user experience, giving apps the proper permissions to avoid cpu overhead and bugs (flatpaks for example make discord functionality die completely, drag and drop doesn’t works, it can’t see system processes that are open to show that you are playing games, etc)

So the focus shouldn’t be removing Snap, but improving it for the next LTS.

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I would like to Second @kassin-dornelles post about gaming software in the official repos.

Also i would still urge to open source the whole of the snap infrastructure similarly to flatpack. But least if that never happens do not kill off the .deb versions from the repos before snaps are up to par. Curation in the snap store, files size, bugs etc need a bit of work still. Unless Snaps can give the same reliability and user experience as the .deb packages, .debs should not be removed. It can create issues for a lot of people and especially less experienced users. They can be great but when they are forced before up to par will only create a negative sentiment towards the technology.

Also some good UI changes in the store would be useful to differentiate between versions without being overwhelming.

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I refer to the constant new solutions like Mir/Unity and Snaps, that nobody really is waiting for. I was very happy that Ubuntu came back to Gnome, but it should have never left. Snaps, although I understand them from the ISV perspective you explain, have no real benefit for the end user and are very slow. Especially when perfectly fine debs for Firefox are replaced by default with Snaps. That more looks like pushing a solution to a non existing problem. Sure, there might be theoretical benefits, but it’s definitely not user focused. Maybe that’s the problem, cause Ubuntu also needs to make money and can’t focus completely on the user. I don’t have a solution for that, but forcing stuff doesn’t work very well in general.

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I know there’s some security concerns about allowing apps to do some stuff, but if Snaps keep getting in the way and theres no easy way (a GUI for example) to manage the permissions then it will fail to work and will create several issues, i think that’s the main concern for people here asking for it’s removal.

Please:

  1. Make pipewire the default audio backend with pulse and jack plugins
  2. Make wayland session work with Nvidia 495.x driver and GBM
  3. Provide latest vanilla Gnome session next to your Ubuntu Gnome flavor
  4. Replace snap with flatpak

Snap is looking to become yet another huge waste of Canonical resources. It is the whole Mir/Unity/Upstart NIH story repeated and I expect long term Flatpak will prevail. Best give up on snap sooner rather than later.

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I also agree on making pipewire and pipewire-pulse the new defaults, it matured enough for that.

And my last take on Snaps, please improve it’s app launch times, this is a big issue for everyone and needs to be addressed. :slight_smile:

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you cant really compare these three, Mir served a very specific purpose of a commercial product (Ubuntu Phone) where the other solutions were simply not ready (i’d admit there you could call out NIH, but there were roadblocks from competitors that could simply not have been overcome differently to make the commercial deadlines back then)

Unity was actually the result of a giant end-user UX study that canonical ran with 1000s of computer illiterate users around the world, most design decisions made around it were exactly based on user demand form these studies, i wouldn’t call that something “nobody is waiting for” :slight_smile:

Snaps … beyond serving the ISV use case i outlined above also enable us to only maintain one single firefox/chromium package for all supported ubuntu releases, formerly you had to maintain and fix 4 packages per browser to support all LTS and current releases which bound up to two full-time engineers constantly … thanks to the switch this manpower is now available for working on desktop fixes instead of fixing the same bugs in 4 different places over and over … i’d say a better desktop is definitely something everyone benefits from in the end, don’t you agree ?

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start up times for snaps are massively improving, most apps no longer take longer than 10 seconds to start, and it’s only improving from there.

note that the reason more packages are being snapped is because there are not enough contributors to maintain those packages for all supported versions of ubuntu. if we want to keep them as deb packages would also mean to also bear the maintainence burden. so feedback on what the current barriers are to becoming contributors is also very important to this thread.

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There are not many things that are broken in the Ubuntu Desktop experience as we speak. Some things to consider may be:

  • Snaps. I like them, and I think they are the future. But there are still some pain points. The file picker in many snaps don’t go to the home folder, but to the snap’s home folder; firefox snap is very slow on my setup when cold started (I started a discussion about it on snapcraft forums); theming may still be finicky; OpenGL, OpenCL and Vulkan issues…
  • Theming. How viable is in the long term to keep Yaru? I love the theme, but Gnome seems to be moving in the direction of not allowing theming. Some apps already hardcode Adwaita. May be Adwaita with changed accent colors suited to Ubuntu branding as a solution?
  • I would really like a new “100 paper cuts” initiative for 22.04
  • Gnome Shell performance is much better than before, but not there yet. The shell still runs at 30fps on 2018 laptop with integrated graphics.
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that has happened in December already …

… but it is something that snap maintainers need to adopt on a per-snap basis … if you find a slow starting snap point its maintainer (there is usually a contact: in the output of snap info <snapname> to talk to them) to that blog post so they can adapt the changes …

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debs aren’t being killed and only in cases where the snap version gives the same reliability and user experience as the deb package are the deb package being transistioned. notice that only chromium and firefox are transistion both of which give roughly the same experience and greater reliability. in the case of firefox the transistion was requested by mozilla themselves :wink:

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I am a Kubuntu user and I feel that snaps are built only with Ubuntu (Gnome) in mind. Snaps do not integrate well into KDE, specially because of the file picker issue. For instance, Chromium snap still does not support the KDE file picker (see https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/chromium-browser/+bug/1851621) whereas the Flatpak version of Chromium does support it.

Also, some snaps are way too slow (f.i. PyCharm, which is infinitely slower than the flatpak version). So I believe Canonical should have a higher standard for snap performance before switching an application to the snap format.

I am not against snaps as many people are… but I would like them to be faster than they currently are and integrate well in other DE’s, specially those that are official flavors of Ubuntu.

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