The pain of LTS users having to stick to older versions of apps would be over with Ubuntu 16.04. An announcement from Olli Ries (Head of Engineering for Canonical’s Product Strategy team) today confirmed that snap packages will be supported from Ubuntu Xenial Xerus alongside the regular deb packages. Remember adapt? snap is similar. However, snaps will use Ubuntu Snappy instead of LXD containers.
snap packages will enable developers to install much newer versions of their apps on Ubuntu 16.04. along with all dependencies. While the package size is going to increase, transactional and delta updates will maintain a balance. Only the diffs which need to be added would be added.
As you would expect, snaps go directly from devs to users. So the deployment time is much faster.
snaps would be self-contained and isolated, developed using the Snapcraft utility on Ubuntu Snappy. Any binary or library packaged would not affect anything else on the system. Any issues and you can revert everything.
As mentioned earlier, the deb packaging system is going to be maintained as the primary medium of packaging.
If you are a developer or interested in developing your first snap, head here.
To list all snaps available, run:
$ snap find
To install a package snap, run:
$ sudo snap install package_name