How to bring forward the community?
Nikita V. Youshchenko
yoush at debian.org
Thu Mar 1 12:02:18 CET 2012
> we get sportive spirit by competition.
> So the question is, with whom we (this community) are competing?
Maybe better to ask, who is the intended user of free phone?
Below I'm speaking for myself (sorry for that), but I think that my
situation is not that uncommon.
I'm in free software for about 15 years.
Long ago, there was many free time and enthusiasm to move things forward.
Over years, priority is shifting elsewhere - job, family, kids,
you-know-all-that. So contribution lowers to near-zero level :(.
I still use free software (Debian) on all my computers, because
- (1) it works perfectly for daily needs, it is comfortable to work with it
after many-years experience, and
- (2) if/when it becomes possible, I can occasionally hack on it, tune it,
and do fancy things.
With phone, I'm actually looking for the same.
When openmoko was announced, I was very excited. But one of my colegues
looked and said, "Calm down. It won't fit real life. To be useful, mobile
phone must be reliable. You won't be happy with missed calls from your
boss while your phone is dist-upgrading".
I still ordered Freerunner, however I was unable to use it - for very this
So to be useful for me, free phone must
- (1) have _absolutely_ _reliable_ basic phone functionality: no excuse for
lost call/SMS or poor sound quality
- (2) don't require hacking to get things that one expects from today's
smartphone, this includes browsing web, looking for places nearby, map
navigation, music playback, take a photo, calendar/reminders/alarms and
- (3) have more or less standard linux environment that I'm familiar with
and can occasionally hack on
... and yes (0) have hardware keyboard ...
N900/maemo was very close... but it is dead now, and it has enough bugs in
core functionality provided by closed components to force me away after
Android could look close, but it annoys me every day with tons of silly
things, most important one is it's broken multitasking (that depends on
checkpointing current state that is so difficult to implement that even
core applications have it incomplete - even not talking about what is
written by joe developer)
So what to use? Nothing to use...
Btw, I once blogged abot this at
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