I recently installed Manjaro (GNOME version) and wasn’t totally satisfied with the pamac GUI, so I did a little research and installed GNOME Software. And it seems to work great for installing Flatpaks; the nice interface with clean, informative info pages for each app is much more user-friendly. (User reviews don’t show up at all for some reason, but that’s a separate issue.)
But when I did some research into why it wasn’t the default, I discovered a few issues. The Manjaro devs don’t want to include it for some reasons listed here: Fork Gnome Software Center and add to it AUR support - #5 by Chrysostomus - Feature Request - Manjaro Linux Forum
Their main problem with it seems to be that PackageKit does not work well with the Manjaro native software repositories. They say fixing and maintaining that would be a lot of work, which seems totally fair.
But GNOME Software is still a much better experience for new users, and most new users would have no need to access the Manjaro-specific repositories anyway. Most apps a new user would need to install are available via Flathub – or in my case, only via Flathub. The Eclipse IDE I need for college isn’t even in the Manjaro repositories.* A version of GNOME Software that only deals with Flatpaks would be ideal for this situation: it would be more palatable to the Manjaro devs, and it would give noobs less confusion about which package type to install for a given program.
I’m not at all familiar with the architecture, so I’m not sure if this would entail getting rid of PackageKit altogether, or heavily modifying it somehow, or just disabling local package updates and installation/removal… I’m pretty much posting to ask, is this possible? And if so, what might it take to get this done?
Tl;dr – Could a fork of GNOME Software be pared down to pretty much just a local frontend for Flathub?