Questions: Daily Use, Community stability?

Aaron Sowry aaron at
Thu Jul 31 15:05:28 CEST 2008

Shawn Thompson wrote:
> Hello Community,
>    This is my first time starting a new thread in the mailing list and 
> I felt that before investing $400 on something I should really think 
> it out and ask a few questions. I will start with the questions 
> regarding use as a day to day device. I need a minimum of two things 
> from a phone: the ability to make and receive phone calls reliably and 
> the ability to send and receive SMS messages reliably. From what I 
> have read this is not always the case right now. If someone can verify 
> that they have been using the device for this purpose for a matter of 
> time I would really appreciate that. I have been waiting, patiently, 
> for almost 3 years for this phone, since about the time that the 1973 
> sold out for the last time. I really do want to purchase a freerunner 
> but unless I will be able to make it work as a phone I think I may be 
> tied to my low end POS samsung t409 for the time being.
>   My second set of questions revolve around the recent storms brewing 
> in the community list. There has been a lot of fighting going on over 
> ONE feature, the toggle option on the keyboard. Personally I would 
> prefer to toggle mine myself but I am NOT going to get into arguments 
> over that right now. What I would like to know is that if a major 
> usability problem is reported by members of the community that we will 
> not be placing information upon deaf ears. I am NOT a programmer but I 
> love playing with anything Linux so the freerunner really looks like 
> it would be fun to have. So long as I know that major problems (echo, 
> the GPS issue, keyboard toggle option, etc) are going to at least be 
> heard I will be willing to take some minor usability problems while a 
> resolution is in the works.
> Thank you for taking the time to read and respond.
> -Shawn Thompson
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> _______________________________________________
> Openmoko community mailing list
> community at
Hi Shawn,

I use the Qtopia image and find it quite usable as an everyday phone for 
SMS and phonecalls - this is not to say it's perfect but certainly more 
usable than the other distributions at present. If open-source mobile 
development interests you, I'd say go for it and buy one. They're cute.

There has been turbulence in the community lately beyond what I would 
call healthy debate, but I think it was mostly just a handful 
individuals doing a bit of posturing early on in the game. Seems to have 
calmed down now. Being an open-source project you can safely assume that 
your considerations will be taken into account, however my opinion is 
that the people hired by Openmoko have been hired because they're good 
at what they do, not because they're intended as a medium for each and 
every personal opinion to be realised in the final product. I think we 
have to trust these people to set the general direction of development 
and design, and the community is there to build upon this framework and 
make it theirs. No open-source project I know of is without this kind of 
structure, and rightly so.

So if people want a manual keyboard button (I happen to be one of these 
people) then they should definately make their opinions heard in the 
hope that they are acted upon, but if not then this decision needs to be 
respected - don't castrate the designer, the design is open-source and 
can be changed later. When enough people adopt these changes then it 
evolves to replace the original, which is how open-source development 
should work.

Anyway hope you decide to take the plunge and become part of the community.


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