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Why is jolla still misleading their customers? [duplicate]

asked 2014-11-28 18:48:41 +0300

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updated 2014-12-01 21:58:12 +0300

eric gravatar image

From the Indiegogo page of the jolla tablet:

Jolla Tablet’s Sailfish operating system will be unlike anything you’ve tried before. Once you try it, you’ll never want to go back. Independent and powered by open source, change whatever you like, whenever you like.

That statement is clearly dishonest. Let me elaborate:

It is meant to make people think they get an open source OS with their Tablet. The honest thing to do would be to at least qualify that statement with a disclaimer that key parts of Sailfish are in fact closed source. Why does Jolla feel the need to mislead ther customers? Why not be honest? I recently sold my Jolla Phone because i was very unhappy with Jollas open source policy. I don't think Jolla wants more unhappy customers like me. Please just clarify it to the tablet customers then i will shut up.

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The question has been closed for the following reason "duplicate question" by eric
close date 2014-12-01 10:00:26.081941



It is powered by open source tthough. They don't claim it's only open source. (And if this topic would be slightly more relevant, we could continue here and discuss what a 'key part' is and shay isn't.)

ossi1967 ( 2014-11-28 19:01:32 +0300 )edit

If I have understood things right, Sailfish OS is as "under the hood"-parts opensource, but (parts of) the UI is proprietary and owned by Jolla.

avhakola ( 2014-11-28 19:04:45 +0300 )edit

It is powered by open source tthough. They don't claim it's only open source.

The point of OP is that it's not clear enough. Most people would read it simply as fully open. It's not some lawyers talk - it's the site facing potential crowdfunding backers, so complete clarity and disclosure is something expected.

shmerl ( 2014-11-28 19:25:25 +0300 )edit

I have the biggest problem with:

change whatever you like, whenever you like

That is simply not compatible with for example the UI and system applicartions not being open source.

MartinK ( 2014-11-28 19:32:18 +0300 )edit

Indeed, going forward I think one of the biggest impediments to Sailfish and Jolla's success will be the closed nature of the UI and systems surrounding it. One of the big attractions of Android is the ability to both cosmetically change the UI with themes, or completely alter or replace its basic paradigms. That's a total no-go with Sailfish.

It'll also be a huge stumbling block in trying to convince 'real Linux' diehards and community to embrace Sailfish at all, especially when Ubuntu Touch is completely open, both in terms of open source and its development process (which is accessible and testable by anyone).

Besides, the tenor of the statement suggests a wealth of customisability and options by default .. which simply don't exist unless you're willing to actually code patches for it yourself.

midnightoil ( 2014-11-28 20:00:33 +0300 )edit

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answered 2014-11-28 19:13:50 +0300

Copernicus gravatar image

I've gotta admit, the phrase "Independent and powered by open source" is a very clever way to describe the current situation. :) It is technically true, as the most important parts of the OS (in my opinion) are in fact open. But yeah, in order to remain a viable business in the current market, you're not going to be able to be fully open source.

And yeah, there are fully open-source devices out there (in particular, the OpenPhoenux phone) if you really want one. But of course it's more expensive and less powerful than any of the competitors out there, and the OpenPhoenux project will never be able to afford to hire the kind of engineers that Jolla has...

I do want Jolla to continue to emphasize their openness in their marketing, as I feel it is a significant advantage against Apple, Google, or Microsoft products. Jolla's system may not be fully open, but it is much better than most of the alternatives.

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Yes, but again - you can't "change whatever you like" (quoting the slogan) as long as huge parts of the OS are not open source. That is in my opinion very misleading if not outright false.

Also these seem to be community members interested in improving some of the system components (patch manager patches, recently posted patch for calendar on the mailing list, camera app background changes, silica documentation fixes, etc.), but the components being closed is blocking those contributions.

MartinK ( 2014-11-28 19:39:10 +0300 )edit

@MartinK: Hmm. My problem here is that Jolla's main selling point for Sailfish is the Silica UI. I really don't see how they can remain a viable company if they make everything open.

And, from the sound of it, Jolla is going to let you boot other OSs on this tablet, so technically you _can_ change everything if you really want. :)

I've been dismayed to see the Steve Jobs "computer-as-appliance" concept come to dominate the world of mobile tech (and, to an ever growing extent, the world of desktop computing as well). Even if Jolla hasn't found a way to completely implement "change whatever you like" in their own products, I'm still willing to let them get away with it, as I want the _concept_ of freedom to control your own devices to once again become a selling point for mobile companies to compete over...

Copernicus ( 2014-11-28 19:49:40 +0300 )edit

@Copernicus Well, I still think that for open sourcing Silica there are more benefits than downsides:

  • NemoMobile would not need to write a complete UI from scratch, resulting in a more usable OS & more contributors
  • "free" fixes and improvements from the community
  • could become the de-facto standard mobile UI component set, bringing more applications to Sailfish OS due to cross-platform compatibility
  • could bring some PR in the Open Source community, especially since there are other mobile operating systems with fully open UI code (Firefox OS, Ubuntu Touch & AOSP) - even if they don't work as nicely as Sailfish OS

But other than that I can agree that the Jolla overall development style is indeed a huge step forward from the iOS cult, the total closedness of BB10 or the here-is-your-source-code-drop-kthxbye of Android.

MartinK ( 2014-11-28 20:06:53 +0300 )edit

I'd like to know what are the parts you feel like you cannot "change whatever you like" since you can change almost everything that you see.

You can change UI look, you can change UI feel and functionality, heck, if you do not like the set of applications present you can pretty much change them all; most interaction in the Silica frontend is anyway played out in the MER layer below which is fully open and interchangeable...

juiceme ( 2014-11-28 20:07:40 +0300 )edit

you can swap silica out and run glacier instead.

IMHO from a software perspective you can change whatever you like, it may not be easy, and you might have to do a lot of development yourself, but it can be done.

r0kk3rz ( 2014-11-28 20:18:38 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-11-28 20:49:12 +0300

dez gravatar image

updated 2014-11-28 20:49:29 +0300

This topic was discussed during SailfishOS, open source, collaboration meeting on November 25, search for "Is SailfishOS Open Source" there to get full explanation. Brief meeting minutes can be found here.

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.... and this topic still needs more discussion. There is a meeting next week for that topic only. They acknowledged there was a marketing mistake in the wording. However there is still a long way to go regarding OSS, and that next meeting wants to address specifically this topic.

Tofe ( 2014-11-28 21:10:35 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-12-01 10:00:09 +0300

eric gravatar image

Duplicate of https://together.jolla.com/question/24454/why-is-sailfish-advertised-as-truly-open/ And same author...

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This is not a duplicate. It is a new situation since Jolla is again advertising for a new Product with misleading marketing speak. Most people then told me to wait, and that Jolla would improve their Open Source track record. But not only have they not done that for months. They are again using misleading advertising.

torpak ( 2014-12-01 19:12:47 +0300 )edit

@torpak: You're warmly welcome to tomorrow's IRC meeting to ask questions and get answers, see: https://together.jolla.com/question/67668/additional-sailfishos-community-meeting-on-irc-2014-12-02t1500-utc/ Thanks!

eric ( 2014-12-01 22:27:53 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-12-01 08:41:18 +0300

https://together.jolla.com/question/67579/am-i-in-the-right-community/ Similar Discussions here.

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Asked: 2014-11-28 18:48:41 +0300

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Last updated: Dec 01 '14