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Posts: 2 | Thanked: 22 times | Joined on Feb 2018
#1
I lurked without an account for some time to see if Sailfish is worth my interest. It seems to me that it's just another walled garden.

Post-Google-Play-Services Google is often depicted as a murderer of open-source. This article, from 2013, describes it more than enough, so I'll restrain from summarizing it: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013...ans-necessary/

Now notice the similarities between the Google's and Jolla's approach.

Do you remember the Nemo Mobile applications? Nemo had it's own, open-source e-mail client. https://github.com/nemomobile/qmlmail
Jolla completely stopped the development of the open-source client in 2013 and locked people into their proprietary one.

The same holds for text input - Jolla has proprietary tx9 repository (or something like this) for anything more than a simple virtual qwerty. Now just wait until Jolla includes a backdoor there, uploading what you type to some Chinese server...

Just my two cents.
 

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#2
Can't really argue but at least Sailfish isn't crippled if you don't install the closed stuff (xt9, exchange and something else that must be really important...) unlike android without google play services.

It's still the least-bad option.
 

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#3
While I prefer open source, that doesn't mean that closed source is inherently evil and anti-consumer. I've seen no evidence that the e-mail client nor the xt9 input has a hidden agenda which harms my interests. It seems you're just fearmongering.
 

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#4
Originally Posted by Fuzzillogic View Post
I've seen no evidence that the e-mail client nor the xt9 input has a hidden agenda which harms my interests.
If there's nothing to hide in the e-mail app why not open source it to silence the conspiracy theorists and potentially get some free improvements from the community?

Similarly xt9 is commercial so at least we know how they get money, but there are open source alternatives so it seems strange Jolla would deal with a third party (both updating packages and handing over licensing fees from Sailfish X buyers monthly) rather than use one of them. Not evidence of wrongdoing, just a bit strange...
 

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#5
Originally Posted by suicidal_orange View Post
Similarly xt9 is commercial so at least we know how they get money, but there are open source alternatives so it seems strange Jolla would deal with a third party (both updating packages and handing over licensing fees from Sailfish X buyers monthly) rather than use one of them. Not evidence of wrongdoing, just a bit strange...
There are not that many xt9 open source alternatives. As far as I can see, there is only presage. Presage has been ported by @martonmiklos recently to SFOS and would need some further development to make it a good alternative. Although, it should be within a reach and let's see where we are in few weeks.
 

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#6
Originally Posted by rinigus View Post
There are not that many xt9 open source alternatives. As far as I can see, there is only presage. Presage has been ported by @martonmiklos recently to SFOS and would need some further development to make it a good alternative. Although, it should be within a reach and let's see where we are in few weeks.
What's wrong with libpinyin, at least for Chinese IME?
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#7
Originally Posted by marmistrz View Post
What's wrong with libpinyin, at least for Chinese IME?
Probably nothing. XT9 and Presage provide text predictions while you type. What does libpinyin do, I have no idea. As far as I remember, you were looking for Chinese input. Would be good to get input for Chinese working as well, but that's far from at least my expertise. I guess, you would have to start working on it yourself.

Last edited by rinigus; 2018-02-07 at 08:32.
 

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#8
Originally Posted by rinigus View Post
Probably nothing. XT9 and Presage provide text predictions while you type. What does libpinyin do, I have no idea. As far as I remember, you were looking for Chinese input. Would be good to get input for Chinese working *** well, but that's far from at least my expertise. I guess, you would have to start working on it yourself.
Ok, I mostly knew xt9 as a requirement for the built-in pinyin IME. Just wondering why they settled for a proprietary, licensed solution, when really good open-source backends exist.
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#9
Originally Posted by Fuzzillogic View Post
While I prefer open source, that doesn't mean that closed source is inherently evil and anti-consumer. I've seen no evidence that the e-mail client nor the xt9 input has a hidden agenda which harms my interests. It seems you're just fearmongering.
I've seen no evidence either but I can clearly imagine a good motive. Jolla is cooperating with BRICS government, just wait until some of these countries' government decides it needs to watch their citizens a little more and gives Jolla a superb offer. That's just a step away from your keyboard spying on you.

A keyboard is something that you use for inputting password, sensitive information. That's one of the first things that should be open source.
 

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#10
Originally Posted by JaechenLi View Post
I lurked without an account for some time to see if Sailfish is worth my interest. It seems to me that it's just another walled garden.

Post-Google-Play-Services Google is often depicted as a murderer of open-source. This article, from 2013, describes it more than enough, so I'll restrain from summarizing it: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013...ans-necessary/

Now notice the similarities between the Google's and Jolla's approach.

Do you remember the Nemo Mobile applications? Nemo had it's own, open-source e-mail client. https://github.com/nemomobile/qmlmail
Jolla completely stopped the development of the open-source client in 2013 and locked people into their proprietary one.

The same holds for text input - Jolla has proprietary tx9 repository (or something like this) for anything more than a simple virtual qwerty. Now just wait until Jolla includes a backdoor there, uploading what you type to some Chinese server...

Just my two cents.
I don't think Jolla and Google are really comparable like this.

While Googles agenda is clearly apparent & nicely described by that rather well known Arstechnica article, in Jollas case the current state is in my opinion a result of different circumstances, bad luck and some pretty bad decisions.

For example the Nemo email client and Nemo middleware/UI overall, I remember the situation back then. Jolla developers worked on it together with the community (eq-Maemo/MeeGo). making a good progress. Then generally Jolla developers vanished and things more or less ground to a halt due to a lack of manpower. Later on it turned out this was due to the first Sailfish OS release - Jolla basically lacked the resources to both stabilize the upcoming Sailfish OS release and work on/maintain Nemo at the same time. And since then the situation has not really improved - it rather got worse at times, as with the Tablet fiasco where Jolla lost a massive ammount of developers and the in hindsight apparently not that successful Aquafish program.

So rather than abandoning open source alternatives on purpose as Google does I see the situation as an unfortunate side effect of Jollas lack of resources. But I'm not saying it's not bad - it's very bad and can get even worse if Jolla does not start doing something about it!

The thing is that by lacking an upstream community distribution being developed in the open (a tried and tested model used in Fedora/RHEL, OpenSUSE/SLES, Debian/Ubuntu) Sailfish OS is in a pretty bad position.

Community can't help with testing and integration of new components, so it all falls back to internal Jolla developers, delaying library and toolchain updates further and further. This also effectively mean most components don't have a stable maintainer, so even if community members want to contribute improvements an fixes to open parts of Sailfish OS, it takes ages to get them merged.

So while the community + stable/enterprise distro model is definitely not without overhead, I think Jolla is seriously risking it's future without using it - and without enabling more community involvement overall. It's pretty apparent at this point that both single-handedly maintaining it's own distro in a reasonably current & safe state without community help and also adding new features and hardware support is not really working out.

As for closed source components in Sailfish OS (excluding third party stuff like xt9, Alien Dalvik, Exchange) I see it personally just as a very bad initial decision, likely driven mostly by schedule pressure and possibly overestimated expectations.

And I really hope Jolla is regretting it since then, since I don't think the closed components have ever helped *anyone*, including Jolla:
  • closed components create "bad blood" and make people who like open source reject Sailfish OS
  • closed components prevent community contributions and fixes
  • closed components even block fixes and enhancements in open components that need to interact with closed ones (SIP, messaging, etc.)
  • closed components make the work of community porters harder (but thankfully not impossible)
  • closed components require a separate closed build and issue reporting infrastructure (3 bug trackers, yay! together, Mer Bugzilla & closed Jolla bugzilla)
  • closed components are not auditable and understandably make people uneasy given ongoing security threats

So I really hope Jolla will do something about these issues soon - there have been som encouraging signs lately, but I'm remaining skeptical until more stuff is actually open sourced and more community involvements happens.
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