Linux Mint has released the monthly project newsletter And apart from the updates that are mentioned and the typical review of donations, it leaves us two interesting news, both related to one of the key elements of the Linux desktop: applications.
The first comes to the slipstream of Linux Mint 20 and the new application that they released with that launch: Warpinator, a tool to share files safely and easily over the local network. A tool that apparently has become a success outside of the distribution ecosystem. To facilitate its installation across GNU / Linux, it has been packaged as Flatpak (it is available on Flathub).
And the second piece of news, which I personally consider much more interesting: the development of a new application, which, like the previous one, will be added to the Linux Mint Linux XApps. The application is called WebApp Manager And you can imagine what it is for: creating desktop web applications with a couple of clicks. And you can also imagine, if not where the idea comes from, where the technology comes from: the Site Specific Browsers (SSB) model implemented by Peppermint.
From web applications, from webapps, we have talked here a lot because, again personally, I consider that they are a practical alternative: where native applications do not reach, others can reach, they are based on web technologies such as Electron case or are entirely web-based. The clearest example is Chrome, although with the development of progressive web apps, increasingly common on mobile, the phenomenon is approaching the desktop.
For more information and in case someone needs it, our tutorial on how to create desktop web apps with Chrome and very especially that of how to create desktop web applications with Firefox, because although the latter is on the way to becoming obsolete precisely because of the news that concerns us now, the fundamentals of Ice SSB, the Peppermint project tool to create these web applications are explained there.
Indeed, Linux Mint has relied on Ice SSB to create its WebApp Manager and that’s why they want to collaborate with Peppermint, for that both applications use the same backend and they can implement their own interface if you like, although the folks at Peppermint seem to have liked the Mint revamp. Be that as it may, the project is underway and the first beta version can already be tested, whose functionality is complete, but which still needs to complete the translations and polish errors.
In the newsletter article everything is explained in more depth, so while waiting to be able to test it, we refer you to the source. We have tried it with a derivative of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, which is what Linux Mint 20 is based on, but the executable fails due to a dependency problem. It may only be available to Linux Mint users at the moment.