Filip Štamcar, is creator and maintainer of PWAsForFirefox, a project that allows users to install Progressive Web Apps using Firefox. The project includes a native program that users need to manually install. We asked Mr. Stamcar what his experience has been with Packagecloud, and this is what he had to say.
I like Packagecloud because
It allows me to efficiently distribute my program to Linux users, so I don't have to worry about packaging for various Linux distributions. With Packagecloud, I can focus on software development, instead of spending valuable time distributing the program. Alternating between the CLI and the GUI to manually release new package versions can be annoying and time-consuming! Packagecloud provides a CLI program that allows me to upload and manage packages automatically using GitHub Actions when I release a new version.
I am the creator and maintainer of the PWAsForFirefox
project that allows users to install Progressive Web Apps using Firefox. The project includes a native program that users need to manually install. I was previously only distributing DEB and RPM archives to users, however, because normal DEB and RPM archives cannot update automatically, users had to download and reinstall them every time I made a new release. This caused inconvenience both for me and my users.
Publishing packages to default repositories of various Linux distributions was not a viable solution, as there are a lot of distributions with many requirements for inclusion in default repositories and different release schedules. Adding packages to them would require a lot of work and could delay updates.
Packagecloud has solved this problem, allowing me to quickly publish new releases to my own Packagecloud-hosted repository for all supported distributions, so users can get the latest features without delays.
The extension is written in JS and distributed in the official Firefox store.
The native program is written in Rust. I use cargo-deb and cargo-rpm to build and package the program as a DEB and RPM archive, and GitHub Actions with Packagecloud CLI to automatically upload them to Packagecloud repositories when I create a new release.
My advice to you
If you use or want to use Firefox, and would like support for installable PWAs, give PWAsForFirefox a try.
If you are developing a native program that you would like to distribute to Linux distributions, don't be afraid. Packagecloud can save you a bunch of time.
I want to tell Packagecloud
I think they should improve support for "any" distribution repositories, allowing you to publish a single DEB/RPM package for all distributions, which is especially useful for statically linked programs, which includes most Rust programs.
(Image courtesy: PWAsForFirefox)