The Xdg App project has been renamed to Flatpak to get an easy-to-remember name and reflect that after almost two years of development it’s finally ready for broader adoption.
It has also got a brand-new official website – Flatpak.org.
Since then the project has gained momentum. Last week, LibreOffice for Flatpak was announced. This is something Stephan Bergmann of the Red Hat team of LibreOffice has been working on for the last couple of months (read his blogpost about it). You can now easily install the latest LibreOffice (5.2 Beta) directly from The Document Foundation to your system and use is side by side with the system version.
There are nightly builds of 23 GNOME apps, Darktable, GIMP, Inkscape, MyPaint.
The KDE community has prepared a testing version of KDE runtime, so now you can also easily build KDE/Qt apps for Flatpak. Dan Vrátil worked on the KDE runtime when he was in my team. Dan has not been with Red Hat for half a year, but it’s great to see that his initial work stirred some interest in the KDE community.
Aleix Pol tweeted that he was working on Krita for Flatpak.
Mario Sanchez Prada is working on Chromium for Flatpak.
Flatpak finds its way to distributions, too. Simon McVittie wrote a blogpost about adopting Flatpak in Debian.
Installing Flatpak applications currently requires a couple of commands. Easy to do, but not the best UX. That is going to change soon, too. GNOME Software 3.21 already supports and associates with .flatpak files, so you’ll just double-click the file and everything necessary for installation will be taken care of.
2016 may not be the Year of Linux Desktop, but perhaps it will be remembered as the year when distribution of Linux desktop apps was redefined.