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Am I in the right community? [answered]

asked 2014-11-30 14:23:33 +0300

DiosDelRayo gravatar image

updated 2014-11-30 23:50:29 +0300

smoku gravatar image

For me personally was the reason to switch to and support Jolla, open source, I want to control my device completely at least as much as I can. I bought my first Jolla because of the open marketing on the website and was 1 week later disappointed about some points in openness. For me it's a lot of afford to switch from comfortable to free. I'm on the way to program 4-6 hours a day for native apps on SailfishOS. Now often there is mentioned that the majority don't care about open source or openness in general. So I ask myself I'm in the right community. I would make a poll, but this would reflect maybe only the people which care more about it. Anyway I read here all the time that most people don't care about open source and the main reason for them will be functionality. I'm afraid that I got engaged in the wrong project every day more. How can I figure out what is the motivation for others to support and use a system which is still starting?

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The question has been closed for the following reason "the question is answered, an answer was accepted" by smoku
close date 2014-12-01 11:35:51.401522



The problem is that some people see 'open' as a black and white thing with no middle ground.

We would not have a Jolla at all if Jolla listened to these people.

aegis ( 2014-11-30 14:54:55 +0300 )edit

You are in the right community. Just check the talk about the exFAT filesystem for the tablet. ...and the response from Jolla.

vattuvarg ( 2014-11-30 14:56:21 +0300 )edit

Being Open is not equivalent to being in favour of poor functionality. Nor does being in favour of functionality preclude openness.

strongm ( 2014-11-30 14:57:03 +0300 )edit

@aegis I would say a big part of this issue is that many early adopters who took part even on the preorder really came from the open source community and choose Jolla over other cheaper, more convenient and closed alternatives (Android, BB10, iOS, etc.). So I would say we might actually not have a Jolla now if the "open" people did not support it from the early start. :)

Also on related note, due to the store still not supporting paid apps, the open source community is at the moment the only significant group of people writing native apps for Sailfish OS - for free and in their own free time! So please don't single out members the "open" members of the community - they also want Sailfish OS/Jolla to succeed and are often working very hard in their own way towards this goal. But understandably want it to become more/fully open over time, as the openness is pretty much the main reason for their participation.

MartinK ( 2014-11-30 15:07:58 +0300 )edit

My take is, that Jolla is 'not yet there' and hence the people 'here' do care about more openess.

  • iPhone: I'm critical about Apple being able to decide which app can or cannot be distributed, e.g. the Phone Story app.
  • Android: I'm critical about Google's ability to aggregate more and more data about people
  • WindowsPhone: I like(d) the design and it would be an alternative for me if MS would follow a more open approach regarding apps
  • Blackberry: don't know, can't comment
  • WebOS: Was a bit resource challenged, but I kind of liked it. Now dead

Jolla is imho at the current time the most promising approach to ~open mobile computing.

  1. Currently Jolla has (big) shortcomings in matureness, features, quality and apps (not so difficult for me as I'm not an heavy app user but I can understand that some iPhone users really are not able/willing to forego some of their great apps)
  2. There are also many benefits, e.g. I like how economical my jolla treats the battery power (compared to old WP phone), the UI is (in general, not so in some details) terrific! Underlying standard GNU/Linux fantastic.
  3. I also appreciate the pragmatic approach. 100 % total absolut free(dom) might be the ultimate nirvana, but if it - likely - would kill the jolla company and kill to many 'niceties' I'm also happy with 80 % or so. It's still much better than the consequences I'd get from iPhone and Android.
  4. What else would you switch to? Ubuntu Phone? We (I) don't know yet. If it's fully open source it could be interesting. But for now I prefer the small finish underdog. Wish them all success (with > 10 % market share in a few years :-)
chappi ( 2014-11-30 15:15:32 +0300 )edit

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answered 2014-11-30 17:32:06 +0300

torpak gravatar image

If you read the other questions tagged open-source, you will find that Jolla uses open source for practical reasons (less work for them) and marketing purposes but are very careful not to open too much because they fear forks. I think that fear is overly paranoid (for example firefox forks don't seem to bother mozilla too much since the name and branding can't be used) and is hurting the relationship whith the people they should really want on their side but you might come to differet conclusions.

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@torpak: you really can't compare Mozilla and Jolla Ltd. imho. Mozilla got almost 300 Mio $ per year from Google. With that kind of money it's easy to cross-subsidize the development of FirefoxOS and it also doesn't matter if someone forks it. Don't you think so also?

chappi ( 2014-11-30 18:25:55 +0300 )edit

@chappi i have not talked about firefox os at all. They get that money from Google (and in future other search engine providers) because they have a big marketshare despite there being multiple fully functional Firefox forks.

torpak ( 2014-11-30 18:29:37 +0300 )edit

Yes, looks like. But what I don't understand, they don't ask them self why people are willing to pay almost 400€ for hardware which is not really awesome while you can get better hardware with better working software for less? I mean the hardware don't make me spend 400€ on it! Silica UI neither (even if it's very nice-but sometimes problematic(makes e.g. the browser terrible)), TOH is also nice, but also don't make me pay 400€. So they must see why people pay more to get at the first glance less. I willing pay also 400€ for the tablet (wifi 32gb) to Jolla to give me a device I have under control and can modify it. If I get only a other closed/semi closed device I prefer to buy a device I can at least open and put something else there. I hope really Jolla will get the curve. It's a nice project, a lot to improve, I'm willing to put a lot afford into it, but at the end I think the can only survive and make a business if they orient on the customers and their reasons to buy the products. The Jolla statement on the "no exFAT as stretch goal" gave me hope that Jolla will consider at the end to do the right. And people will not stop to support them for that, I think than the will support Jolla even more. Was thinking to port a android device to SailfishOS, even I have a brand new SGS3 in my board and I wished a really higher resolution on the phone, but then I considered that I will support the wrong people/companies with buying and android device to run SailfishOS on it. So I purchased a Jolla even I was looking for different Hardware. Alsoo with the Tablet, 3 weeks ago I purchased an Android tablet to install finally plasma active on it because you can't buy an Vivaldi :( then suddenly came the Jolla Tablet, and I perked it because the company must have an income for their afford. I know not all people will see it in this way, a lot will also buy where the get more functionality for less money. Belief the most people will support them for going open source even more!

DiosDelRayo ( 2014-11-30 18:36:49 +0300 )edit

@torpak i misread FirefoxOS, sorry. But my main point stays: Mozilla has a huge amount of money which allows them to cross-subsidize development (btw. such search deals come with a cost, be it Google or Yahoo) - vs. - Jolla has 'only' the product and must fear a fork. And at this point of time Jolla could never reach the marketshare to do such lucrative search deals even if they would be 100 % free software. - But wouldn't you agree that it's better to have, lets say, a 80 % open source and privacy respecting phone than to fallback on iPhone/Android/WP?

chappi ( 2014-11-30 19:55:34 +0300 )edit

@chappi Android is more like 85% open source and even IOS is based on open source components... So jolla is just doing marketing with Open Source.

torpak ( 2014-11-30 20:05:03 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-12-01 00:02:19 +0300

shfit gravatar image

I think you should join the next IRC meeting on tuesday (2.12.14 15:00 utc) and find out. We will discuss Jollas relationship to OSS. You might be pleased to find out that many sailors are very passionate about freedom, OSS and Jolla as a community project, so I think you are at the right place. Obviously there have been some misunderstandings and unfortunate formulations, which have rightfuly frustrated some community members and definitely need clarification, but I also believe that in our core, we as a community , and Jolla as a startup who listens to our suggestions, all have gathered here for similar reasons. We are obviously not content with the current mobile ecosystem and we believe that things could be better, if our mobile phones, which have become a central part of our daily lives, are developed as a community project, with openess and users as core values. Unfortunately, like many things in this world, this project will only succeed if it becomes financially sustainable. This means that not everything Jolla offers as a company can be free (or freely available), at least not if it might endanger the projects sustainability. I would love for everything to be free. I would love to be able to modify the system to my pleasing, but I can also accept some compromises, if it helps Jolla as a company. I came to TJC, bought my Jolla phone a year ago and now ordered my Jolla tablet, because I see great potential in this community, in Jolla and its talented people, who I personally believe have done a terriffic job so far. It's not easy to bring a new ecosystem to this crowded market, but I think that with all of our input and effort we colud really put together something quite neat.

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I will be there :)

DiosDelRayo ( 2014-12-01 00:28:38 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-11-30 19:13:52 +0300

midnightoil gravatar image

I think Jolla are a bit like a rabbit caught in the headlights of an oncoming car, at the moment. They're very reluctant to open source / make accessible more of the OS because it'll be, more than anything, a lot of work for them in the short term. As I think we all know by now, they've fallen a long way behind in the second half of the year. No doubt opening stuff up would further delay planned features, upgrades and bug fixes. However, they're a small team, and they really need the community to help fix stuff and contribute, and will continue to struggle to attract talented developers to the community as long as they don't. Bit of a Catch 22 situation.

I think this is probably much more likely to be why Jolla are so reticent to open everything up, not because of forking or possible commercial value of closed source components of Sailfish (I really doubt Silica is worth that much on the open market).

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Just opening the source (of what they own) under an OSI or FSF approved license and putting it on github would be enough as a first step. And that would be no work at all. Then people could tinker with it and Jolla could start accepting patches when they feel they have the capacity.

torpak ( 2014-11-30 19:34:18 +0300 )edit

I fear 'would be enough' may be too much and Jolla might not be the phone of your dreams (for now). The step to open source is irrevocable and Jolla surely has to think deeply about consequences/dangers. I also suppose, they have investors who don't want to loose their money. I mean, OpenMoko etc. all failed. Most people obviously do _not_ really care about free and this, anecdotal, includes two 'contributing hardcore Linux geeks' I know which happily use iPhones... It's complicated ;-)

chappi ( 2014-11-30 20:17:44 +0300 )edit

@chappi I think OpenMoko was mostly caused by unfortunate selection of the phone hardware that basically killed the usability of the hardware. As this is not really the case with the Jolla (the hardware is perfectly usable aside from some sporadic hardware issues) I don't think Jolla and OpenMoko are directly comparable.

Also, even if OpenMoko itself failed, many people who worked directly on the project or just contributed went on to other open mobile endeavors, so I would not call a a total failure.

MartinK ( 2014-11-30 20:24:54 +0300 )edit

@torpak I would predict a huge mess of pull requests from people who have no idea about the direction Jolla want to take their OS in if you just put the source up on github, most of which will be rejected by Jolla and the resulting animosity would get nasty.

Jolla would be spending time managing commits and politics rather than developing and at this stage they still have a lot of developing to do.

That's my experience of most open source projects. I don't see why this would be different.

aegis ( 2014-12-01 03:51:24 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-11-30 23:57:32 +0300

smoku gravatar image

From the looks of it, you are better fit with http://openmoko.org/ community with the desire to completely open source phone.

Jolla was never hiding that they needed to go for many compromises to deliver an usable daily, yet as much open as possible device. There are some closed parts in the device, just because of the reality we live in (libhybris and abouts) and some closed parts to make the product market viable and keep investors happy (if all is free, then there is no value to sell).

We as a community accept it. It is OK for us that all of the parts our applications touch are open. It is enough that we are free to run whatever software we write on our devices. We are not orthodox to the bone, to require that components that are just there to keep things running, be open. Let them do their job and do not bother our code, and we are just fine.

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Well, I've seen some people wanting to improve/fix/twee system components such as the callendar (improved local support), messaging UI (adding multiuser chat support), accounts, camera (transparent options background), Silica (configurable remorse timer) but not being able to due to the components being closed. I think that this is quite unfortunate and should be improved.

MartinK ( 2014-12-01 00:21:26 +0300 )edit

You are missing the point.

Messing inside other people software has nothing to do with complete freedom of running whatever I want my own software.

smoku ( 2014-12-01 00:28:28 +0300 )edit

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Asked: 2014-11-30 14:23:33 +0300

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Last updated: Dec 01 '14