I think if you separate the forest from the trees, and realize flatpak and the ecosystem are still nascent, we are incredibly lucky to have something as functional and polished as Fedora Atomic Deskops and flatpaks, especially Flathub.
It’s super easy – too easy – to lock stuff down. I read the docs and decided to build my system around public XDG dirs, it’s just an ini file:
Normal apps can access my all my good ol’ classic Windows 95 / XDG dirs. I’m sure many have much better ideas of what “lock-down” means here, and my setup makes you want to puke in your own mouth, but this it what I want. I’m not paranoid to the point I need to lock down each and every app, but I don’t want apps running amuck outside
host, I just want apps to use those well-know desktop folders.
I also don’t want any other flatpaks accessing ~/Documents/Secrets other than KeepassXC. I didn’t have to think about it, the docs spelled out how to do so:
Not only is KeepassXC locked down, it’ll create my
Secrets dir for me (if it doesn’t exist) the first time I launch it.
(You can also do all this as a user. All your overrides can live in
~/.local/share/flatpak/overrides. I just do this in case I want to go multi-user.)
I’ve tried to read the documentation for
bwrap… Give me ini syntax any day. I spent maybe… 5 minutes reading the
flatpak-metadata man page, and setting this up in an ini is just too easy. Too gud. =^)
As for the feeling of things being perpetually unfinished, that’s just part of life. Things change, modern programs become vintage, now Linux is on the Desktop, it gains mind-share. Now Linux Desktop has worms and ransome-ware. Suddenly you need an immutable OS, you need portals, and you need to get off X11 and re-think drag & drop.
As for what’s missing, built-in apps should be and are replaced by flatpak’d versions, but currently they just disappear into the void. Someone on Kinoite Matrix had their mom call them saying she couldn’t open pictures and PDF’s because
okular were just gone with no warning.
I don’t think multi-boot / multi-distro works at the moment either. Some people won’t mess with Atomic if they can’t safely install and remove it.
GUI tool-kits and themes can be an absolute nightmare. KDE does a good job of covering Qt and GTK with Breeze, but it’s still a mess, things can and do break randomly, either to flatpak updates or system updates… it’s not fun.
Can’t get paid on Flathub. Hopefully this happens in 2024.