Snapistics – Snaps in Numbers
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Actions speak louder than words. So do numbers. When we talk about snaps, we often focus on the application packages, and talk about their individual merits. However, a no less important – and interesting – facet of the usage of the snapcraft framework are the numbers behind the scenes. They tell a collective story from developers and users alike. They allow us to look back and piece together a puzzle of perception and adoption, and map them onto underlying factors, like the introduction of the new LTS release, the availability of popular software, and deliberate changes introduced to make the framework more robust and more accessible.
Indeed, how do people perceive snaps? How well accepted is the framework in the software development circles? Today, we’d like to share some of these figures.
One big family
We cannot share everything, of course, but we can put together some interesting statistics, which highlight the snappiness of this endeavor.
For instance, in the past sixty days, we have a 40% increase in the number of registered devices running the snapcraft framework, but even more importantly, a 59% increase in the number of installed snaps, which shows a growth in the usage of the framework among the Linux users. Over the past six months, the number of registered devices has more than trebled.
Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver is the most popular platform, and it has also seen a 63% growth over the same period. Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus takes a second place, with a much more moderate growth of 6% and about half the user base as its successor LTS.
It’s not all Ubuntu, either. Linux Mint systems have also seen a growth of 31%, Debian systems about 20%. There’s also some adoption among other distributions. For instance, Arch-based systems show a solid 14% growth.
Don’t forget the weather
Cloud adoption comes with even more impressive numbers. Over the past two months, the number of registered cloud devices has grown a handsome 136%. Well, it wouldn’t be cloud, and it wouldn’t be interesting, if the percentage numbers weren’t at least three figures. This jump can be seen an indicator of perceived convenience and practicality of the snapcraft framework in the business sector.
The need for stability and predictability is a critical factor in the industry, and being able to rely on a self-contained software stack that will not change or break come the next system update offers the necessary incentive for testing and trying snaps in a other-than-home environment.
Snap your fingers
The availability of content is an important factor, reflected in the increase of available snap packages by approximately 26% since the official release of Ubuntu 18.04. The vast majority of these packages are in the stable channel. About 75% of all snaps are external contributions.The developer community also reflects this, with 8 out of every 9 contributors being someone outside of Canonical.
The number of developers has also increased by 60% over the past six months, showing a healthy interest in the framework and its benefits. The interest also manifests in the participation on various boards, with about 62% new topics being discussed on the Snapcraft forum, as well as more activity on Launchpad – and more bugs reported, often a good sign; while bugs are not conducive to the user experience, they do show people are interested in seeing problems resolved.
What numbers do not tell …
But there is a flip side to this story. The impressive growth of the snap adoption does not tell us anything about developers and users who have still not tried the framework – or did try and chose not to persist, for whatever reason or stumbling block they may have encountered.
In other words, we would like to ask you: What would make you start using snap packages? What kind of functionality would you like to see included? How do you envision this framework making your life easier? What would make you snap – but in a good way?
Please join the discussion thread and share your thoughts.
© Lightnetics 2019