At the Debian conference (DebConf) this week in Montreal, Simon McVittie put forward the idea of using Flatpak portable packages more in Debian. Flatpak's bundling of dependencies is ideal of backporting packages (such as web browsers and games) which may need newer libraries that would otherwise conflict with Debian's conservative approach to packaging. "On Monday I gave a talk entitled 'A Debian maintainer's guide to Flatpak', aiming to introduce Debian developers to Flatpak, and show how Flatpak and Debian (and Debian derivatives like SteamOS) can help each other. It seems to have been quite well received, with people generally positive about the idea of using Flatpak to deliver backports and faster-moving leaf packages (games!) onto the stable base platform that Debian is so good at providing." McVittie has created a utility which can build Flatpak packages from Debian's native .deb archives to help demonstrate how Flatpak might be used on Debian. Additional information can be found in McVittie's blog post.
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