A distro-agnostic AUR: would it be useful?

If you read my recent blog post, I defined a file type (*.webapp) that contains instructions to build an Electron Web App, I wrote a script to install *.webapp files (nativefier-freedesktop) and a script/wizard to build *.webapp files starting from a URL. And I published a first Web App in KDE Store / Opendesktop / Linux-Apps.

What inspire me was AUR (Arch Linux User Repository): since it’s not safe to install binaries distributed by users, AUR hosts instead instructions to automatically download sources, build an Arch package and install it. The principle of *.webapp is the same: instructions that let the users build web apps locally, eventually with custom CSS/JS to have, for example, a dark version of some famous site like YouTube.

Also, when I use KDE Neon or other distros I miss AUR a lot: on it you can find everything and install it quickly, you can find also Git versions of apps that are in the official repos in their stable release. So I thought: since now there are distro-agnostic packages, like Flatpak, Snap and AppImage, why not create the “distro-agnostic AUR”? It would work exactly like AUR but at the end of installation process it doesn’t create an Arch package but a Flatpak/Snap/AppImage one.

So a developer could distribute i.e. the Flatpak of the 1.0 stable version of his app and an user could decide to write a DAUR (“Distro-agnostic User Repository” 😉 package with the recipe to build a Flatpak using the sources from Git, so other users will be able to install the official 1.0 version in Flatpak and the development version also in Flatpak. Or maybe an user could write a recipe for Snap because he don’t like that the developer distributes only a Flatpak etc, use cases are many.

The DAUR packages could be hosted as a category in Opendesktop / Linux App / KDE Store and software centers like Discover could support them… here there is a mockup to explain what I mean:

If you like the idea, please share it to grow the interest.

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