Alternative to Flathub


#1

It seems that Flatpak will be the recommended way to distribute software for the Librem 5 phone. Flatpak has many advantages over the traditional dpkg system and I do not intend to debate the merits of Flatpak here. Rather I ask, “where will we get our apps?” By default, Flatpak pushes user to get apps from Flathub. This is problematic for an FSDG compatible distro as Flathub promotes propietary software. I propose that an alternative to Flathub be created. It will host built-from-source free software flatpaks of apps. This will basically be like F-Droid is to Google Play: A completely free set of source-built apps ready to be installed.

The “Software” app on PureOS (mobile and desktop environments) would by default pull apps from this repository.

We could call it Purehub or Purepak or something like that. And of course it would be hosted as a subdomain of puri.sm.


#2

That’s really a great idea. I believe purism will definitely host their own repositories for software distribution of librem5. Because otherwise PureOS will no longer meet the FSF guidelines and name will be removed from GNU recommended distro list.


#3

Or Purism could:

  • spare themselves the (substantial!) burden associated with setting up and hosting a secure repo; and
  • avoid duplicating others’ efforts,

by leaving to F-Droid the responsibility of maintaining an FSF-compliant mobile app repository.

(Perhaps Purism could also send some funding F-Droid’s way to help to ensure F-Droid’s sustainability. This is likely to be a more efficient use of funds than setting up a separate repo.)

Related thread: Waste of resources to ship your own OS?


#4

I think you are beating a dead horse with this one. Purism will ship their own OS.

Now, using F-droid’s index format might be an interesting idea if it is good . . .


#5

Fdroid hosts android apps, the librem does not run android (so far as I know it runs pureOS)


#6

Yes, that seems to be Purism’s current plan. But I am not sure that it is a terribly good plan. Given that a fully free mobile OS (Replicant) and fully free mobile app store (F-Droid) already exist, developing PureOS and creating a Flathub alternative seems to me to be a suboptimal use of Purism’s resources.

Correct.


#7

I don’t think we should use android at all. It’s clunky and IMHO not very well designed. Once Google releases fuchsia android development will slow. Also, pureOS will help achieve convergence which will be great. It’s not a waste of resources to ship their own OS stop rehashing the point.


#8

Honestly I would prefer it Purism made a repo available for the phone that allowed the user to decide if they want proprietary software or not. (I don’t believe all software needs to be FOSS, and I see nothing unethical about some of it.) This is important, because reaching the mass market will mean that users need an easy way to get the software they are already using either professionally or personally. The choice should be theirs, and if the official stance is: if they don’t use only FOSS software then they need to figure out the hoops to jump through on their own, the phone wont see the kind of adoption that makes the whole FOSS thing a success.

Because let’s face it: FOSS for the tin-foiled few does nothing.