@linmob Slight formatting error with your link to Purisms virtual keyboard, just a heads up.
I hope we see linux phones become even more viable this year than last year, and once software is more finely tuned even with the low specs of the PinePhone I think we could be in a good spot (let alone if we ever see a high spec device or new chipsets in use). I missed out on linux phones last time around, happy to be a small part of the current momentum.
@linmob I largely agree, and I think you could have gone into more detail about why past projects failed. I think the root causes were always trying to do too much with the resources a company had available. I think if Ubuntu Touch actually built on Ubuntu instead of trying to rewrite half the OS from scratch and focused on only 2-3 devices, it could have succeeded. Similarly, OpenMoko was not focused in their software strategy and therefore couldn't afford to survive for long.
@linmob Purism has been smarter with their software strategy but they have made too many blunders that cost them too much money and goodwill. The way they misrepresented the shipping of their early batches was a sketchy disaster. Also, trying to get the RYF certification (https://twitter.com/marcan42/status/1040626210999431168) wasted money by wasting engineering resources on ridiculous stuff like that Twitter thread describes and IIRC they paid an outside developer to rewrite the driver (or was it firmware?) for the WiFi.
@linmob Having a free WiFi driver for the Librem 5 is nice, but if they were smart, they would have done that in a year or two from now after they had sufficient sales to keep the Librem 5 business afloat, and they would have been upfront with their customers about the limitations of what they're able to do given their cost constraints.
@linmob They have also burned bridges in the community with their political positions like refusing to moderate Librem One (https://anarc.at/blog/2019-05-13-free-speech/ , Gargron refusing to federate with them) and continuing to sponsor the FSF. I doubt Purism will financial survive another two years. Fortunately they were smarter than past companies with their software strategy rather than trying to write a whole new software stack from scratch, so I think Phosh and libhandy/libadwaita will outlive them.
@linmob Unlike UBports which is struggling to be maintained by far too few people needed to maintain that much code
@linmob Similarly I have a hard time imagining Jolla surviving another few years. They have pinned themselves into a weird corner with their business strategy of targeting a few enterprise customers rather than individual consumers or developers and keeping their UI stack proprietary. They're still stuck on Qt 5.6 (released 2016) supposedly because their customers don't want to update to LGPLv3 licensed versions of Qt. It's already a lot to ask people to maintain software for Qt 5.6...
@linmob As the world moves on to Qt6 it will eventually be too much work to maintain compatibility for 5.6. Jolla made the same mistake as Ubuntu Touch by writing a whole new software ecosystem instead of building on an existing one.
@linmob By contrast, @PINE64 has been taking a smart strategy of leaving all the software to the community, so they actually have money to manufacture real working hardware and ship it to tens of 1000s of users/developers. They also made a very wise decision by building the PinePhone on a SOC that they already made prior products with so a lot of the kernel work was already done.
@be I could have made it longer, I but time contraints, length and trying to keep this readable while respecting readers time constraints kept it short. 🙂
(I prefer to work on projects that I think do more for mobile Linux than a longer, book-length version of this commentary ever could.)
Openmoko were overly optimistic regarding hardware performance constraits and their own ability to iterate on to newer hardware – a lack of focus can be seen in that, yes.
@be The list of Purism communication blunders is indeed long, but to me their contribution still outweighs it. Regarding their political choices, that's a choice between offending group A vs group B, so while I don't agree with their choices I am willing to accept them. (Also I really don't care about librem.one)
The RYF cert was logical to go all in with the FSF crowd; I don't blame them for not forseeing FSF's controversy and issues with new WiFi hardware – these things are quite complex.
@linmob I do blame them for choosing to prioritize the RYF thing for the WiFi driver over shipping real, functioning phones to people.
@be Their endless shipping delays are not due to the WiFi chip or driver afaik, so I don't really get what your point here. 🙂
Also, WiFi mostly works on the Librem 5, it sometimes needs killswitch action to make it work, but that might be fixable.
@linmob Yeah their shipping delays are a separate issue. My point is that it was not a smart use of limited funds.
@linmob "We will be increasing prices in stages over the next year as BOM prices change and as we deliver greater quantities of product." ... Yeah I am having a hard time imagining the Librem 5 surviving the current turmoil in the electronics economy and I suspect it will take down the whole company. https://puri.sm/posts/the-ball-and-supply-chain/
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