Nov 03 2021 02:16 PM
Nov 03 2021 02:16 PM
We are beyond the age where targeting applications for Linux was a hit-or miss affair. By targeting flatpak, you target one platform only. If the runtime fails, it fails for all. If it runs, it runs on all. There have been efforts at other platform targets. We have Snap, flatpak, RPM, and DEB. As much as I appreciate efforts by canonical to create snaps, the proprietary nature of them leaves a sour taste in the mouth. As we have seen in history with Betamax, and 8-track, first is not always best. RPM and DEB files are too closely related to system stability and are being viewed as appropriate for system software only. Both Fedora and Debian organizations are moving rapidly towards a flatpak future with OSTREE builds. As I am writing this, I am using Fedora Silverblue, an excellent example of the proper use of RPM's and how that are expected to be used in the future. This distribution is effectively flatpak-only with RPM's and DEB's reserved for system files. For the first time in the history of Linux, there is only one clear packaging choice, and only one palatable option. Flatpaks have been battle-tested and give apps very good isolation from each other. Microsoft should minimize duplication of work and focus on Flatpaks for edge and other Desktop applications. Some argue that Flatpaks cannot be used for server-side applications, but this is also not true. OCI containers and other types of container formats work very well and can be used with Flatpak. Flatpaks will work on Android as well as WSL. One platform that runs everywhere is a reality.
Nov 03 2021 04:03 PM - edited Nov 03 2021 04:10 PM
However, we've discussed this several times in the forum, and Microsoft seems to have no intention of wrapping Edge-Linux in a Flatpak, however little sense that makes. I'm not quite sure why, but I think that it has to do with Microsoft's focus on business/enterprise clients and developers rather than on Linux desktop users. Edge-Linux Stable has yet to be released into the consumer channel, although it is available in the business channel.
A community-developed Flatpak is under development and I've been using it on Solus OS 4.3 Budgie (see Edge-Linux Flatpak Beta - Unofficial - Microsoft Tech Community) but that project is temporarily on hold, pending release of Chrome into the Flathub Stable repository (see https://github.com/flathub/com.microsoft.Edge/issues/88) for further developments on that project.
We started raising Edge-Linux on this forum in April 2019. After a lot of hounding and happy talk, Microsoft released a Dev version a year ago, and a Beta version in May. Stable is now released (see Edge-Linux Stable - Microsoft Tech Community), but only in the business channel and as a Windows Server related download. That's absurd, but the whole history of Edge-Linux has been absurd, in my opinion.