Sunday, April 24, 2022


The currently published snap for ripgrep is version 12.1.0; the snap was released 2020-05-17.  The current version, 13.0.0, was released on 2021-06-12. There’s no contact for the publisher of the snap.

The currently published snap for alacritty is version 0.8.0, with the snap released 2021-06-17.  Meanwhile, the current version is 0.10.1; the snap packagers (the “Snapcrafters”) haven’t packaged 0.9.0 released 2021-08-03 or any later version.  The contact information listed for this snap is a Github repository that doesn’t allow issues to be reported; indeed, the contact is the pull request page.  [Updated 2022-07-29: fixed a typo in the snap release date.  Verified that neither snap has been updated since publishing.]

The snap store itself only recognizes legal reasons to “report” a snap, due to violations of either copyright/trademarks, or the terms of the Snap store. There’s no way to signal to the publishers that an update is desired.

It’s clear through their actions where Canonical stands, here: once again, they are interested in taking the work of the FOSS community and siloing it in a place where Canonical can profit, and nobody else can.

The real issue isn’t about snap itself; it’s Canonical’s core strategy. Consider their other initiatives, like upstart, Unity, and Mir.  They wanted to become owners of critical infrastructure, walled off from the whims of the community by a licensing agreement that gave Canonical—especially and only Canonical—the right to profit off the works of others which they did not pay for.

With snaps, Canonical attempts to further erode the community, by letting anyone take over any project’s name, publish under it, and (regardless of intentions) leave it to rot.  Then, they don’t even want to clean up the results, unless they are legally bound to do so.  This helps with the number of “available snap packages,” to be sure, but sinks the utility of the whole system.  Users can’t place their trust in it.

It appears that I may need to shift distributions again, to something that is neither Ubuntu nor downstream from it.

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