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Additional SailfishOS community meeting on IRC - 2014-12-02T15:00 UTC

asked 2014-11-30 20:03:40 +0200

tbr gravatar image

updated 2014-12-02 10:17:48 +0200

During the last meeting the topic of Jolla and its relation to the open source community exceeded the allocated time slot. Hence it was decided to hold a separate meeting one week later: Tuesday, 2014-12-02T15:00 UTC

I (Thomas, a community member) have been asked to chair the meeting and am hereby soliciting input for the agenda. Please post your proposed agenda items as answers to this topic. As the general topic is complex and discussions tend to require time, I am reserving up to 90 minutes and will allow a maximum of 3 main topics and possibly some smaller topics, if it is evident that they won't need more than 5-10min each. Should the number of valid topics and issues exceed available time slots, further meetings on this will be considered.

Please state clearly the area you want to see discussed and if you will be available to bring your point to the table on IRC.

As this is a continuation of a complex issue, before commenting or answering this post you are expected to have at least read the full log of the open source time slot of last weeks meeting, also if you participated in the meeting. I reserve the right to, at the least, ignore comments and answers where the person hasn't done so.

I hope for plenty of participants both from the community and from Jolla, as I firmly believe that both sides still have a lot to learn and great things can come from such meetings (cf. Jolla's very open approach about tablet development, most prominently hinted by @Stskeeps during the meeting).

It's really hard to distill the answers below into discussion topics. Please don't hate me if I twist things, it's well intentioned, to have a more clear agenda. Without further ado, preliminary agenda for today:

  1. Introductions and setting the stage 5 min
  2. The way forward together; A modus operandi for Jolla and the open source community to collaborate. 30 min - based on @DiosDelRayo 's answer
  3. open sourcing sailfishOS parts - planning the road ahead and bringing more transparency to the process 30 min - based on @Tofe 's answer
  4. Jolla and OSS - a public manifesto(?) outside private blogs, IRC and TJC? 15 min - based on @anandrkris ' answer
  5. beyond EOL - how could a hand-off to community look like? 5 min - based on @shellkr 's answer
  6. Wrap up, loose ends, do we need another meeting? 10 min

I will prepare topic introductions for each of the topics and will do my best to guide the discussion, also by playing devil's advocate. Nevertheless I expect the community and especially each of the named persons to be ready to argue their side on one hand and Jolla to have the necessary representatives to engage into meaningful discussion on the other hand.

The answers section is now considered closed, further posts will not be taken into account. If you take issue in some part of the agenda, please bring it up during point 1 at the beginning of the meeting.

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simo ( 2014-12-01 05:47:05 +0200 )edit

9 Answers

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answered 2014-11-30 23:37:04 +0200

DiosDelRayo gravatar image

The full log I read yesterday. And I got it this way that Silica UI is an asset and for that Jolla won't open it (maybe yet). As customer it sucks! SailfishOS is far away from be finished, and they could need every possible help.

I stopped using Apple products and switched back to GNU/Linux on the Desktop and Jolla as Phone - without Alien Dalvik(that makes it nonsense switch to Jolla/SailfishOS in my opinion). I was looking control over my devices, looking for open source. The Website of Jolla and other Websites let me think that Jolla is completely open source at least from the OS upwards. The first days I was really pissed off that I purchased something half-open for almost 400€. For me it's really hard to use Jolla in daily use - but I continue to do, also with the target to do my part and make things I miss, better. In comparison I used my phone before between 2-5 hours daily, now let it be 1/2 hour mostly because it's a pain to use email/browser and there is no messenger and video-telephony. I used a lot of comfort of Apple before, and I miss it hardly.

Tomorrow I will begin to develop TextSecure native for SailfishOS (I developed before iOS-Apps), so I invested in books to switch to c++/qt/Silica and I will invest approximately 4-6 hours a workday to make it happen. The main target is to integrate it in the end in the Message-App - which is today not possible like it looks for me. My decision is freedom over comfort, but I will do my best to get the comfort back. When I see what is the problem with SIP integration on Jolla, seems like that a mayor problem is the integration in the Phonebook-App because it's not open. Where my biggest pains: No secure messaging, no video-telephony, browser without swipes is terrible, email-client is very rudimentary and without gpg (okay before I had the same problem to be honest - but this don't make it better). There are much more, but this are the biggest things I want to have solved on my phone. But for a lot things it's necessary to have the source.

I personally not an FOSS fanatic, even I think is a good thing and a good attitude of the FOSS folks. For me it would be okay if I can see the source for my device and able to compile stuff I want to change on my device. Which gives me also the ability to support the vendor of the device to improve things they have no time for it, and at the and send them a patch. If the vendor like he can include the improvement or let it be. I think the development of Jolla could be really faster this way. For my it would already be okay, let's take Silica as main example, when Jolla make a license witch allow the customer to get/read/modify/compile the source on there own device and allow to share this modified source only with source and only with other customers and Jolla - nothing more. So they don't need to fear a fork, neither a other company can steel there IP.

BUT, I think it's also in the interest of Jolla to open it up, maybe GPL v3 because I think it's not only me willing to pay for it, to support Jolla on it. Let's be honest, I think almost 400€ for a Jolla last month was a lot, but I would be also willing to pay for the tablet 400€ if it is open source. I perked on Tablet even I was not 100% sure if I will continue with Jolla because it's only half open, but on the website a other time (before, now it was changed because of the last meeting) it looked like Sailfish will be on the end 100% open source. And it made me another time angry! After the answer the answer from Jolla of "[Request] Please don't use crowdfunded money to pay for extra patent licenses!" I got new hope that the small boat will go the right direction.

At least I want to say that not everything about Jolla is bad, Jolla and SailfishOS is great, but still in the beginning. But when Jolla want really TOGETHER and PEOPLE POWERED that there is no other way then open source. And much more important: DON'T TRICK ON PEOPLE - don't make statements which create expectations which will not be fulfilled. That make people feel disappointed, angry and betrayed. Let people be part of your universe, because you can do it better then Microsoft, Apple, Google, LG, Samsung, Sony....

Find with the community ways to make business truly open (source), because you will make a better place the people also be willing to help you. I for my part can promise you if Jolla goes completely open source, I will by every device they will bring out, and when the products really ready to compete (then Jolla/SailfishOS will win anyway), then I will also invite people in my surrounding they don't care about their privacy and freedom to join Jolla.

Make a statement, let the world see what means to be #unlike! And let the community blow in the sails of the small Jolla boat :)

PS: I will be present on the meeting

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Yay for the TextSecure initiative, looking forward to it :)

piratenpanda ( 2014-11-30 23:56:58 +0200 )edit

The idea of open sourcing is just because of what DiosDelRayo points out above. So that people can participate. Collaborate. Without this the point of open sourcing fades. I get that assets are important and that it is used to determine a company's value. GPLv3 or possibly a special own made license would be able to protect that. Force everyone who takes the code to give back and thus improving the original project.

shellkr ( 2014-12-01 00:05:32 +0200 )edit

I'm in the same boat as DiosDelRayo, I'm beginning to switch from Apple devices to Jolla for the openness and privacy stuffs. I'm not new on those stuffs, nor was an Apple fanatics or the like. I just thought that what made apple products good was what devs brought on the table. Although Apple is going in adirection that I really disagree with. So I'm hoping that Jolla will actually open source as much code as possible so that this community can prove that "apps" is not what matters, but what people can do together to enhance a platform. I already pointed people around me to the Jolla phone, and I know that they like it very much. BUT, they also find Sailfish immature and complicated to add some common stuff to the OS (you often have to install third party stuffs to make simple things work). And they're not tech people, just random smartphone users. The idea of implementing important stuffs directly into the OS is of the outmost importance, and if Jolla can't make it on it's own, then maybe it's time to met the community help as much as they can. People are willing to help, let's not frustrate us.

sandy_locke ( 2014-12-01 02:05:04 +0200 )edit

@DiosDelRayo As was pointed out in last community meeting, there are clearly some things that we need to clarify in our communications, so we are hearing you and we do our best to make sure that we don't make false statements. We do use a lot of open source in Sailfish core already, and the first thing is to make sure that people are aware of all the ways to contribute to those projects and that we don't miss anything or anyone that is willing to contribute on those. That is certainly good topic for tomorrows meeting. What comes to opening more on Sailfish, there is also practical problem on running the development cycle vs running actual OSS project on the side of it. We don't think that code drops are way to go here, so if and when we open more, that has to be done properly, and it takes considerable amount of (development)time, money and other resources. As you have correctly pointed out, there is some serious limits on how you can extend and actually contribute to existing Sailfish applications and frameworks. In order to improve on those, we actually need some "pilote" projects, so if you are seriously willing to invest that much time on those, please contact to us so that we can make it happen.

Harri Hakulinen ( 2014-12-01 13:40:44 +0200 )edit

Great post!

sada11 ( 2014-12-01 18:30:35 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-11-30 22:05:01 +0200

Tofe gravatar image

What I would like to discuss is the feasability of a roadmap and/or status concerning the current closed-source parts of the OS.

For example, why is a component A closed-source (no need for the details, just saying "NDA" or "IP issue" for instance), and/or a note (could be from 0 to 5) about the probabiliy of seeing that part open-sourced in the short/medium term.

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Yep, and what would be helpful is some wiki with listing all such components with this status which would be updated according to how things change over time. I remember OpenSolaris having such page and community actually rewriting some of them to "liberate" the stack. Sometime it's a matter of simply incremental contribution.

shmerl ( 2014-11-30 22:24:43 +0200 )edit

Regarding roadmaps in general, they've stated at several previous meetings that they will institute them and make them public. However, they've yet to do anything.

midnightoil ( 2014-12-01 19:55:07 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-11-30 21:58:31 +0200

shmerl gravatar image

updated 2014-11-30 21:59:11 +0200

I have a question about disclosure of various software patents licensing that Sailfish and Jolla hardware components involve. Can Jolla share them in a clear fashion or it's something that is blocked by NDA? Can Jolla be more transparent about what is affected if it's not under NDA? And especially if something is a threat which requires extra support (like for example crowdfunding the legal defense or anything the like).

I'll try attending the meeting, but I'm not sure 100% that I'll be available yet.

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How about crowdsourcing things like looking for "prior art" on patents that would endanger open hardware or open source in the mobile device context?

tbr ( 2014-11-30 22:07:48 +0200 )edit

How about crowdsourcing things like looking for "prior art" on patents that would endanger open hardware or open source in the mobile device context?

That's good but it's rather generic. There are tons of patents which can threaten that. I was asking in a more focused fashion of Jolla's case. I.e. if for example someone is actually attacking Sailfish already (or threatens to attack) or simply patents which they already are paying for.

In general using crowdfunding to bust bad patents is a good idea, but it should be done outside Jolla's scope, unless they are already under attack and need to repeal a focused threat. Since such action would draw extra attention from the aggressors. I.e. it should be performed by some non profit entity like EFF for example.

shmerl ( 2014-11-30 22:13:03 +0200 )edit

@shmerl is there particular device (or a particular patent) that you have in mind?

steph ( 2014-11-30 23:12:48 +0200 )edit

@steph: I guess it applies mostly to the OS (Sailfish). For example it uses H.264 and I guess some other licensed technologies. What I have in mind is simply enumerating and documenting them for the community reference. Hardware is probably more tricky since there is a whole pack of things in the baseband and etc. That's somewhat out of scope of what I was asking.

Also, please let us know if it's something not desirable for other reasons. For example Debian patent FAQ lists a number of issues which should be avoided (such as for example extra research of affected patents and so on):


Are you suggesting that it is better for developers and contributors not to read patents? If yes, why?

Yes. Unfortunately, U.S. patent law creates disincentives for searching through patents, even though one of the main justifications given for the patent system is that the patent teaches the public how to practice an invention that might otherwise be secret. "Willful" infringement subjects the infringer to enhanced damages when they are aware of the patent and intend to infringe, and reading patents increases the probability that subsequent infringement will be found to be willful. Moreover, we find that developers often assume that the patents they discover are broader in scope than they actually are, and thus such developers become overly or needlessly worried. If, despite this, you do intend to conduct a patent search, you should seek legal advice first.

shmerl ( 2014-12-01 00:08:44 +0200 )edit

@shmerl for the reasons mentioned e.g. on that debian faq, I would recommend to leave patent discussion out of tomorrows meeting. It is well known, that for every HW product you need to license tecnologies, and you can be sure that all that happens under NDA's.

If you are interested to this topic, please use internet resources and join to those groups that are driving potential changes to this area.

Harri Hakulinen ( 2014-12-01 10:39:45 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-11-30 23:26:09 +0200

this post is marked as community wiki

This post is a wiki. Anyone with karma >75 is welcome to improve it.

updated 2014-12-01 00:42:54 +0200

shellkr gravatar image

I am wondering how long the Jolla Phone are expected to be supported. I have heard "foreseeable future" before but am asking for a more qualified guess. The base system such as kernel, systemd, Mer e.t.c... have upstreams and thus not an issue but the closed bits like SailfishOS is. If SailfishOS are expected to continue to be closed we will have a problem when the device is not longer supported. An ETA on this would be a very honest answer to give. I am guessing the answer to this is NemoUI... but that means it need to work. Which is not the case currently if I have understood correct.

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I will do my best to participate but will be at work... so it depends.

shellkr ( 2014-11-30 23:29:08 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-12-02 18:48:54 +0200

tbr gravatar image

The meeting took place with a lot of people in attendance:

16:32:55<@Merbot> Meeting ended Tue Dec 2 16:32:55 2014 UTC. Information about MeetBot at http://wiki.merproject.org/wiki/Meetings . (v 0.1.4)
16:32:55<@Merbot> Minutes: http://merproject.org/meetings/mer-meeting/2014/mer-meeting.2014-12-02-15.00.html
16:32:55<@Merbot> Minutes (text): http://merproject.org/meetings/mer-meeting/2014/mer-meeting.2014-12-02-15.00.txt
16:32:55<@Merbot> Log: http://merproject.org/meetings/mer-meeting/2014/mer-meeting.2014-12-02-15.00.log.html

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Thanks for chairing, wasn't an easy job :)

François ( 2014-12-02 18:54:03 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-11-30 23:13:05 +0200

this post is marked as community wiki

This post is a wiki. Anyone with karma >75 is welcome to improve it.

updated 2014-12-01 00:44:13 +0200

shellkr gravatar image

I guess this might be impossible to answer as it's about a 3'rd party proprietary blob.. but is there any way to improve AlienDalviks support? How are that done? Are Jolla in active contact with Myriad about this stuff? I am mostly thinking of the visual notification issue that is current. You can get audible notification from for example Hangouts if you have had the application open. The phone will just ring but nothing will visually indicate you have been called or are being called. You will have to open the application manually.

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I will do my best to participate but will be at work... so it depends.

shellkr ( 2014-11-30 23:18:10 +0200 )edit

Not an open-source related topic, please bring it up for a regular meeting's agenda.

tbr ( 2014-12-02 09:33:12 +0200 )edit

Maybe not the specific issues with aliendalvik, but i think the WTF of having a proprietary "emulation" layer between two open source systems is an open-source related topic ...

urjaman ( 2014-12-02 09:43:58 +0200 )edit

The topic as urjaman pointed out is open-source related. It's about how Jolla work with Myriad as that is not something the community can do as of the closedness. The example is not. That was just to show there are issues currently. We can write about those stuff how much we want here but it is not an official channel to Myriad. So the question is about how this works practically and if anything is done behind the scene.

shellkr ( 2014-12-02 10:58:03 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-12-02 07:01:16 +0200

I will try to attend this meeting today. Nothing much to add, i guess as a community we have ranted enough and its time to hear what Jolla has to say on the topic before we judge them / slander them. Seriously, we need to give them some time. I see this level of interaction itself with Jolla as a great opportunity - being able to voice our views on building and insisting that the product is open source. I can't imagine if we can have this sort of open-source dialogue with other companies. Of course, other co.s don't promote products and quote open source as their USP.

I expect to hear their overarching principles on if / how they plan to open-source their current work, tentative ETA and the role of community in contributing to S/W in the near future. I believe, even in last meeting there was an high level overview but it is evident that the community is not gratified, so can we have some sort of FAQ & Wiki on Jolla's opensource principles. This is highly imperative now as tablet has garnered attention of lot of developers and after funding the product, it is natural that they expect Jolla to be the way it is advertised / branded.

Other than not collaborating with Individual developers (which has lot of practical issues), i wish to understand on how they intend to collaborate with other open source communities such as KDE who share very similar ideals. For instance, i read that Intel sponsored KDE for Calligra gemini port, can we see similar collaboration efforts (not just sponsoring)?


Qt Quick

So, you might have noticed above the mention of Qt Quick. The components mentioned there are a continuation of the Qt Quick components built originally for Calligra Active and used as the basis for the Jolla Documents application. We have extended them with editing functionality and greatly improving both rendering speed and quality.

See above - reference to Jolla's contriubution to Qt . This is the sort of collaboration that makes the world a better place to live (code ;-)).

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answered 2014-11-30 21:46:10 +0200

dirkvl gravatar image

Will probably be attending the meeting! Have to pick up new surfboard Tuesday, hope I am back on time.

Will have a lot of questions and suggestions hardware-wise, not so much on the soft-side. No agenda points have crystallized in my mind yet.

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answered 2014-12-01 17:35:11 +0200

Melker Narikka gravatar image

I would like to inquire what the state of SDL2 support on the device is like. It would be great to have it harbour-enabled, as it powers lots of games. A small test program of mine however renders but a black screen on the device for some reason.

Another unrelated point: it would be nice to allow the use of /usr/libexec/harbour-appname in harbour packages, in case applications have a multi-process architecture.

I won't be able to attend the meeting.

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That is much better suited for a regular community meeting. Please consider suggesting the topic for one of these, preferably one you can attend.

tbr ( 2014-12-01 18:06:37 +0200 )edit

tbr: Oops, should've read the post more carefully. :)

Melker Narikka ( 2014-12-01 20:24:26 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2014-11-30 20:03:40 +0200

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Last updated: Dec 02 '14