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Thread: The future of 'click packages'. Eh?

  1. #1
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    The future of 'click packages'. Eh?

    Hello friends. I've been doing some reading on click packages but I still feel like I'm having some difficulty wrapping my brain around it. I understand some of these questions may be shooting a bit far off into the future, but at the same time, maybe not. So the basic premise behind the click package system is so developers can bundle all of their dependencies and whatnot into the click package. The process itself from a dev standpoint sounds easy, but I'm left feeling a little gray on a few areas.

    For starters, what does this mean for updates? If a dev pushes an update, then what? Do I get it? Is it part of the regular system updates or is it signified separately in some sort of notification menu?

    Likewise, what sort of items can go into a click package? Can we expect to see bigger applications, like Gimp, Libre Office, etc, packaged as a click package? Or is there something about their size/type of build that would, in theory, effectively only allow smaller items to be "click packaged"?

    Is there anything exclusive to the click package system? Or is this something other distros can pick up accordingly?

    Thanks for your help!
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  2. #2
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    Re: The future of 'click packages'. Eh?

    The primary target right now seems to be phones and devices, where people expect this kind of application installation/deletion functionality.

    What happens with desktop Ubuntu is down the road, I'm sure.

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    Re: The future of 'click packages'. Eh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roasted View Post
    what does this mean for updates? If a dev pushes an update, then what? Do I get it? Is it part of the regular system updates or is it signified separately in some sort of notification menu?
    One of the purposes of click packages is to make updates easier. And more frequent for some.
    Click packages will have many of the same benefits as a PPA...but easier for the packager, and won't cause apt conflicts the way many PPAs currently do.
    The specific settings, and how they fit in with Software Updater, are still to be decided. I suspect that click updates will be part of System Updater - it will update your deb packages, then it will update your click packages.


    Quote Originally Posted by Roasted View Post
    Likewise, what sort of items can go into a click package? Can we expect to see bigger applications, like Gimp, Libre Office, etc, packaged as a click package? Or is there something about their size/type of build that would, in theory, effectively only allow smaller items to be "click packaged"?
    There is no size or complexity limitation to click packages.
    Click packages are intended for smaller applications that interact with the system using the Ubuntu SDK API instead of direct shared library use. Games and apps that need access to Contacts, GPS, Network, etc.
    Click packages offer an advantage to applications with update needs that don't match Ubuntu's cycle well.

    Example: LibreOffice is already deb-packaged for Debian, and it will still be included as the default office work application bundle in Ubuntu as a deb. Some people want a newer version of Libreoffice, they can click-package the newer version (alternative to PPA). The user can choose either version.


    Quote Originally Posted by Roasted View Post
    Is there anything exclusive to the click package system? Or is this something other distros can pick up accordingly?
    There is nothing exclusive to the click package system. Deliberately. Any distro can use it.

  4. #4
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    Re: The future of 'click packages'. Eh?

    Quote Originally Posted by ian-weisser View Post
    Click packages are intended for smaller applications that interact with the system using the Ubuntu SDK API instead of direct shared library use. Games and apps that need access to Contacts, GPS, Network, etc.
    Click packages offer an advantage to applications with update needs that don't match Ubuntu's cycle well.

    Example: LibreOffice is already deb-packaged for Debian, and it will still be included as the default office work application bundle in Ubuntu as a deb. Some people want a newer version of Libreoffice, they can click-package the newer version (alternative to PPA). The user can choose either version.
    In the case of existing apps that do not use the Ubuntu SDK API, can they be packaged as Click apps without altering their shared library dependencies? If so, does this mean Canonical will be repackaging some of the packages brought over from Debian in Click format?

    Is there any possibility of a user-side tool that would allow real-time conversion of traditional shared library packages in the repos to Click format at the point and time of installation? That is, let's say the install tool gives me an option to install traditional Package X in Click format. If I check it, that traditional package and all its dependencies are acquired, converted to Click format, installed in Click format, and the system henceforth treats it as a Click package for updates, etc.

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    Re: The future of 'click packages'. Eh?

    Quote Originally Posted by ian-weisser View Post
    There is nothing exclusive to the click package system. Deliberately. Any distro can use it.
    Ahh, beautiful. That's awesome to hear. This does make me wonder a bit though, because, well, I'm a curious person and that's what I do. Would click packages (by their current understanding) eliminate any sort of RPM vs DEB builds that are currently needed? As in, if a dev packages all needed dependencies for the application, then there wouldn't be much need for a specific RPM or a specific DEB build, would there? I mean, everything needed for the package itself would be already bundled, so specific builds such as RPM would be unnecessary at that point, eh?... is my understanding accurate?

    Likewise, what is it that makes a distro click package compatible? Is there work to be done on the actual distro/OS itself so it will accept click packages? As in, could I fire up my trusty old 10.04 install and have it accept click packages? Or must a distro build itself to intentionally fit the click package paradigm in order to accept them accordingly? If a distro must be built to accommodate click packages, is it a monumental amount of work? Or is it something that is so easy, it's a no brainer so just do it? After all, we all know that Unity can be technically ported to other distros, but we've seen how well that turned out, since due to the work involved to make it even halfway fly, nobody bothered.

    I also wonder about some other things, such as how the application launcher picks up the app as available to the system. As in, let's say I install the Audacity click package. If it's self contained, how does the system suddenly know that Audacity is available if I search in the Unity dash? Or the Cinnamon menu? Or Gnome activities/applications?

    I fully understand this might be drawing up more questions than what we have answers to yet since we're early in the click package game, but I figured why we were already rocking a solid click package discussion, I'd do a brain dump of what I'm curious about and see what you folks have to say.

    Thanks for your time!
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  6. #6
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    Re: The future of 'click packages'. Eh?

    Read from someone who knows.

    http://beuno.com.ar/archives/334

    http://askubuntu.com/questions/48540...nd-deb-package

    Can we expect to see bigger applications, like Gimp, Libre Office, etc, packaged as a click package?
    All things are possible, but someone has to do the work. In Ubuntu + Mir + Unity 8 it will be possible to install both Click packaged apps and deb packaged apps for years to come.

    I have Ubuntu Desktop Next (Vivid) installed. Which is the Ubuntu phone UI running on Mir. There are two update processes, one for the system and one for installed click packaged apps. This morning I got an update to the music app. The system update does not work and I think that is because the intention is for Ubuntu phones to have image updates and not package updates as we have at present on desktop Ubuntu. So, I update the system using apt-get in a tty. It proves the separation of click app updates from system updates.

    I also heard during the recent online summit that apps like Gimp and Libreoffice will run on a rootless X server that in turn runs on Mir. That is how I understand it. The other month it was said that Mir+Unty 8 would be default by 16.04. Then during the online summit I heard that Mir+Unity 8 will be an option for 16.04 users. Nothing is fixed in stone. Except the need to provide Ubuntu users will the desktop experience that they expect from Ubuntu.

    The future of Click packaging is tied in with the future of Ubuntu. I have not seen the slightest hint that there is any intention to lock in or lock out anyone. There is the obvious intention of making Ubuntu phones and tablets profitable contenders in the mobile device market. Users of those kind of devices need apps, lots of apps and online services. They may not be too aware of it but they also need secure devices.

    In my opinion, the Ubuntu security team have set a high standard for user security in their conditions for the building of the Click utility. That should give Click a future. But humans are funny people. and I do not mean funny --- Ha, Ha!

    Regards.
    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530


  7. #7
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    Re: The future of 'click packages'. Eh?

    As in, could I fire up my trusty old 10.04 install and have it accept click packages?
    Can you at the moment run an application on a system that does not have the correct libraries installed? For example, if the developer used a specific GUI tool kit and the distribution did not have the libraries for that tool kit.

    Ubuntu developers have to include various libraries in the distribution. That applies to any Linux distribution. Why expect it to be different with the Click packaging method? Think of the benefit to those distributions built on Ubuntu. The work will already be done for them, as it is at present.

    Regards.
    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530


  8. #8
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    Re: The future of 'click packages'. Eh?

    Quote Originally Posted by grahammechanical View Post
    Read from someone who knows.

    http://beuno.com.ar/archives/334

    http://askubuntu.com/questions/48540...nd-deb-package

    The other month it was said that Mir+Unty 8 would be default by 16.04. Then during the online summit I heard that Mir+Unity 8 will be an option for 16.04 users. Nothing is fixed in stone.
    I know you said nothing is fixed in stone, but this caught my eye. Given that Unity 8 + Mir was supposedly going to be an option for 15.04, I figured they would easily have it in 16.04. If that gets pushed back again... sad face.
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  9. #9
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    Re: The future of 'click packages'. Eh?

    So the, I take it that if say, VLC Media Player or Pidgin Messenger or Rhythmbox (just to throw out a few examples) didn't make a "click package" then we still would not get newer versions of their applications and then we would still have to either add ppas for them or install the newer version manually?

    If so, then the after convergence and Unity 8 arrives in 16.04, Ubuntu still would not be a fully rolling style release because only those apps or functions that click packages were developed for would actually roll into newer versions? Or is it likely that most will go the "click package" route for all the conveniences it would bring?

    Also, what about say, kernels? would they be click packages too?
    If Ubuntu really is planning on eliminating the 6 month release and make it a sort of rolling style version, then one would expect most things to get updated with newer versions periodically and not stay stagnant over the long run...
    Last edited by craig10x; 3 Days Ago at 06:01 PM.

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    Re: The future of 'click packages'. Eh?

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzingrobot View Post
    In the case of existing apps that do not use the Ubuntu SDK API, can they be packaged as Click apps without altering their shared library dependencies?
    Click packages can use ONLY dependencies in the default install (informally called Ubuntu Base; think Ubuntu-desktop metapackage).
    Click packages can NOT trigger apt, and have no way to import deb dependencies. That's why they must have all non-Ubuntu-Base dependencies included with them.

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzingrobot View Post
    If so, does this mean Canonical will be repackaging some of the packages brought over from Debian in Click format?
    No. Debs are debs, and will remain debs, and will remain in the Ubuntu repositories for debs.
    If someone else wants to click-ify software, they are welcome to do so if that license permits.

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzingrobot View Post
    Is there any possibility of a user-side tool that would allow real-time conversion of traditional shared library packages in the repos to Click format at the point and time of installation? That is, let's say the install tool gives me an option to install traditional Package X in Click format. If I check it, that traditional package and all its dependencies are acquired, converted to Click format, installed in Click format, and the system henceforth treats it as a Click package for updates, etc.
    Not planned. It's not prohibited - someone can create that tool if they really want it.

    I'm not sure why users would want that - most users won't (and shouldn't) know the difference.
    Click is more than just a different format. The Ubuntu implementation includes lots of developer-side integration - accounts, metadata, and build tools on developer.ubuntu.com. You need that upstream integration for updates to work. If you create a fresh click package without it, the system won't know where to seek updates from.

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