I don’t think they are so different, fundamentally. A universal packaging sounds very promising. I’m biased because I really think how it’s handled now is almost nonsense.
It should be thought with [ end-user in mind ] + [ what works good in legacy formats ].
Granted the engineering point of view ( I perfectly hear why universal formats are a relief for dev’s ) all these efforts will end nowhere if the end user experience is bad / at least not as good as with legacy formats.
And pardon me but any time you have the choice between legacy and new format, legacy works as expected whereas new brings weirdness ( and yes having to connect, plug, theme is weird, whoever’s fault ). Because of my admitted ignorance I still feel « safety » is used as an excuse to cover UX big flaws ( I still don’t understand why I was not in safety using APT/.deb till today ??? )
But chicken or egg first ? How fix UX if there’s no experiment, right ? Then we need a full-snap desktop system to crash-test it every possible way… Not these half baked things we have today - from a stupid random user point of view like me. I’m still using ppa’s for Gimp or LibreOffice and others because resulting packages integrate flawlessly in my system and workflow. That’s not true at all with snap and flatpak.
When at work I need a predictable environment, hence LTS and .deb which I can trust. At home - and because am not really a Linux beginner - I’m ok to crash test something totally different, as long as I don’t forget to backup my personal data
But the in between situation is unbearable : it’s confusing, it does not advocate well the « new thing » and I guess it does not provide enough valuable reports for the dev’s. And those new packagings implies many changes regarding « updates » and maintenance, for all, users, ( distro ) maintainers, dev’s, a.s.o. These changes need a broader plan to define what is a distro, who’s in charge of what…
…I have the feeling there’s a lack of « targeting » here. Well maybe there’s a global lack of « targeting » regarding the future of desktop pc, also. Cristal ball speaking…
Well, well, well… sorry again, being locked down gives me too much time to bother you, lol ! Sometimes passion blurs a bit the lines between reason and expectation.
Anyway be sure I’m full admiring « you » the people skilled and enthusiast enough to create and share all these ideas, concepts, codes and programs… Forget my bitterness if any