Bug#987428: libwebkit2gtk-4.0-37: only recommned xdg-desktop-portal-gtk

Simon McVittie smcv at debian.org
Sun May 2 17:46:44 BST 2021

For context, I maintain flatpak, xdg-desktop-portal and
xdg-desktop-portal-gtk in Debian.

On Sun, 25 Apr 2021 at 21:17:50 +0200, Alberto Garcia wrote:
> xdg-desktop-portal-gtk was designed for Flatpak as far as I'm aware
> but it does not depend on it.

That is correct. It's the other way round: Flatpak depends on the portals.
It isn't an absolute dependency, so it's a Recommends in Debian, but
Flatpak apps will have very severely reduced functionality without them.

They are useful for any situation where a process runs in a restricted
container (sandbox), but needs to be able to interact with applications
and desktop components outside the sandbox, without gaining a way to
escape from the sandbox and avoid its restrictions. That's a description
of Flatpak and Snap (where the sandboxed process is installed by Flatpak
or Snap), but it's also a description of WebKitGTK (where the sandboxed
process came from the same .deb as the rest of WebKitGTK).

xdg-desktop-portal(-gtk) is not going to get a dependency on Flatpak
unless there is an *incredibly* good reason why it must, because that
would be a circular dependency, and circular dependencies are something
we avoid.


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