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Posts: 560 | Thanked: 625 times | Joined on Mar 2011 @ Nantes, France
#1
Hi everybody,
I've the feeling times are hard on the Mobile Open Source scene. MeeGo is dead and the activity of SFOS itself is pretty low, and Nemo...well, I never saw anything.

By reading and participating to those forums, one can see there are some issues:
- developing a mobile OS is as long and difficult as making the same for the desktop...maybe even more difficult
- creating an applications eco-system is HUGE, and, let's be honest, even Microsoft fails in this regard
- one of the core issue (and still for a long time) is the hardware support when most drivers are closed source

And we can see that even with libhybris, having SFOS up and running on a significant part of the mobile markets is almost impossible with reasonable resources (financial and human). We're a lot here who not love Android at all. And day after day, Google appears more and more "...Evil".

BUT, Android is Open Source through AOSP (Android Open Source Project). This means that for almost nothing, we get a whole, working, mobile operating system, something that can be used as a solid code base to build something more interesting...and without Google "evil" parts which are not in AOSP.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but developing a good Android launcher, with all the features we all loves (gestures, etc), seems to be a far more easiest thing than coding a whole OS. And starting with such fundation would give support of Android applications "from scratch", without having to rely on tweaks like Alien Dalvik, sfdroid, etc. Packaging such Android distro would also be far easier and support of various phones would not be a problem anymore.

Of course, things would not be as tightly integrated as they are with a whole OS (applications should be designed to be used with gestures, etc). But, it's just a question of tradeoff whatever the chosen solution.

Building something based on the AOSP fundation would also help to fix one of the SFOS issue: the lack of resources to really optimize the OS. The Nexus 5 port is pretty significant in this regard, where performances seem far from being the ones one can expect from such computing power.

One of the thing I'm not sure about is if the internals of Android allow to code a launcher which can heavily behave in a different way as the standard launcher.
 
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#2
We had the Sailfish "Stella" Launcher on Android, which I think was pretty much Sailfish OS Skin on Android (Never personally used it). Also, without gapps (which is google propietary software (some of it)), a lot of apps wouldn't work well I believe.
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Posts: 158 | Thanked: 606 times | Joined on Oct 2012
#3
And there is CyanogenMod too... (probably a better starting point than plain AOSP).
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#4
AFAIK, Stella launcher was not Open Source. CyanogenMod seems a bit too tightly linked to Microsoft, no?
 
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#5
Originally Posted by romu View Post
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but developing a good Android launcher, with all the features we all loves (gestures, etc), seems to be a far more easiest thing than coding a whole OS. And starting with such fundation would give support of Android applications "from scratch", without having to rely on tweaks like Alien Dalvik, sfdroid, etc. Packaging such Android distro would also be far easier and support of various phones would not be a problem anymore.
OK, I'll correct you because you are wrong.

To me the question is not about launchers. In fact I could not care less if SFOS looked like Android since this thing goes way deeper than the look of the UI.
(Okay, maybe I'm not completely honest here, sure the SFOS UI is improvement over Android/iOS/WP but still, beauty is only skin deep)

The true beauty of SFOS is deeper in the system, it is the realization that you have the full linux userland down there, with the endless possibilities of full set of GNU toolchaiins at your disposal, that almost everything you can imagine compiles out-of-the-box for you...
It is in the realization of the MER layer that provides seamless integration of the mobile services to the application layer, it is the beauty and simplicity of application development in QT/QML...

You get none of that with Android, even as AOSP is so open it has all the basic limitations of Android systems...
 

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#6
Originally Posted by romu View Post
AFAIK, Stella launcher was not Open Source. CyanogenMod seems a bit too tightly linked to Microsoft, no?
Not CyanogenMod. Cyanogen OS, which bases on trhat, has some cooperation with Microsoft to include some MS services...
 

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#7
once wayland takes off, or xwayland works properly, it will open up a fountain of apps for the tablet. funnily enough ive been looking for a linux tablet recently...
 

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#8
Originally Posted by juiceme View Post
...
The true beauty of SFOS is deeper in the system, it is the realization that you have the full linux userland down there, with the endless possibilities of full set of GNU toolchaiins at your disposal, that almost everything you can imagine compiles out-of-the-box for you...
It is in the realization of the MER layer that provides seamless integration of the mobile services to the application layer, it is the beauty and simplicity of application development in QT/QML..
Thanks.

First, the look is totally forgettable in this discussion. It's more about the feel.

What's the overall purpose in there?

You have all my respect for the argument here above, but is it real? It's not a troll, just a real question. If the purpose is to provide a good alternative to AndriOS (my invention, like it indeed ), getting this way is a lost cause in advance for the reasons I mentioned in my first post. You'll never get it easily up and running on a significant masse of smartphones. Again, look at what happens with the N5 port which is the best SFOS so far.

And we all know in computing this is not always the best technology which wins. Another way would be to the hardware design as well to master the whole product stack. But the Neo900 short history shows this is a very difficult task I think.
 

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