Changes needed to merge the project names to Sailfish OS

In early 2019 we, together with the Mer project, announced that we will unify Mer and Sailfish operations under the Sailfish OS domain. The blog post we released at the time explains the full rationale for the decision, but here’s a brief summary. In public Mer as a name is still in use along with Nemo, Maemo and even Meego at times. All these names are related to developing a Linux-based mobile operating system. Many of us in Jolla have been part of this story from the beginning, since the times when also Nokia was involved in the project, and we appreciate and cherish the legacy that is carried in these names. At the same time we have undergone a transformation during the past few years, and we need to develop the offering further. Sailfish OS is a European-based mobile operating system based on open source software, offering a transparent and customizable alternative to dominant operating systems. It is independent from large industry players developing closed ecosystems. Building the community under one brand - Sailfish OS - is a very meaningful factor in our joint effort to create a viable Linux-based mobile operating system.

It is evident that we cannot do this alone and we need the support of the whole mobile OS community. The commitment and the amount of contributions from the community is significant and important part of Sailfish OS - past, present and in the future. Let’s make Sailfish OS even better - together!

Services and channels impacted

Now as the migration project is reaching its end, it’s time to provide an update on the changes we described in the earlier blog post. In addition to unifying our services and offering, we are merging the brands under the Sailfish OS name. This will be done in phases and you may have already noticed some of the changes taking place. For example https://git.sailfishos.org/ (including https://git.merproject.org ) will be migrated to https://github.com/sailfishos. We are also changing naming conventions, so our repository names will use Sailfish OS instead of Mer. The process is slow as there are dependencies, but we are closing in on the last tasks in this effort.

Issue handling will be simplified, with discussion and issues moving to this forum. Our old bug tracker at https://bugs.merproject.org/ will therefore be closed. Sometimes it may be more appropriate or effective to post bugs as issues against specific projects on Github rather than the forum, and that’s fine too. For example we’ve already been handling Sailfish OS browser bugs also using the Github issue tracker for some time now (e.g., https://github.com/sailfishos/sailfish-browser/issues).

We will also start the process to close the Open Build Service (OBS) https://build.merproject.org/. Before we close the community OBS we will provide detailed documentation on how to build packages, including guidance on repository structure best practices. This should help to reduce any problems caused by this change. We understand the importance of OBS to community and especially to Sailfish OS porters. We will plan this transition in close co-operation with the developers using the service.

In all cases, we will do our best to provide guidance to all who is impacted by these changes. Feel free to start a discussion on anything that we might have missed.

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Could you please clarify whether this means “archived in readonly mode”, “migrated” (where?) or “just deleted with all the bugs” (are they considered too old and/or bad to be worth saving)?

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In general there should be a service which creates the app from the source published like OBS does. That could be integrated e.g. to the Harbour as an option. The app user then could rely the app is created from the open source . Not every user can download SDK for that purpose .

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Unless it is cost-cutting measure, I do not understand why are you

If it is due to the running costs, please state it clearly in the announcement.

If I remember correctly, gitlab instance git.sailfishos.org was done recently, it looks to be integrated into the workflows. Why move again? Not sure it costs that much to maintain it, but you know better.

Closing OBS is a major problem and we have to find some service that would be able to replace it. Currently, OBS makes development for SFOS easier and this model is attractive for me, as a developer. Note that not only porters are going to be hit. All mapping stack that I work on is possible, in part, to OBS. There is a large number of dependencies and OBS allows us to keep all in sync with the SFOS and dependencies updates. In less extent, due to smaller number of dependencies, same goes for Flatpak support. Closing OBS will hit Nemo with such important work for SFOS as Qt update.

Please be aware that SFOS is not the only one mobile linux around with the other options either there for some time (Ubuntu Touch) or gaining momentum (PureOS and Plasma). Hence it is important to keep the best possible development environment, something that has been quite good for SFOS for a while. Don’t break it.

Assuming that OBS closure is due to it’s high costs, what would be an alternative? Should we move to openSUSE OBS? What could be other build services available? We should probably look for something that has ability to build complex projects and provide repository from the build artifacts.

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Thank you @rinigus for expressing exactly my thoughts when I read this annoucement. Particularly about closure of git.sailfishos.org and the OBS.

It’s personal taste, but I like much Gitlab (thus git.sailfishos.org) for collaborative development. The activity page is extremely convenient to follow the development with a clear view of comments, MRs… I’ve learn a lot of best practices just looking at others MRs and related comments. I don’t know if Github provides such a convenient overview. At least, I didn’t find it.

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We will evaluate what should and could be done to possibly preserve the information (https://bugs.merproject.org/). Your input is welcome! It is meaningful for example from the point, that it maintains the background information of why certain changes have been conducted. At this point the immediate action we guide towards is that we should stop using the service.

@dcaliste: maybe somewhat similar, try https://github.com/search?q=org%3Asailfishos . but, as we are limited to one organization, maybe not as organized as in gitlab instance

Thanks, but it lacks the best of Gitlab activity page, a list (time sorted is better when there are 600 projects like in mer-core) of last MRs and related comments.

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@maajussi Just to double-check. Is OBS being removed, full stop? Or are there still discussions on floating a replacement somehow?

Personally i never got around to using it, but automatic builds sure would have been nice many times. If it turns out the community has to step up and fill this gap, I’m interested in helping. (I’ll keep an eye out for threads about this :))

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I am afraid this may be a major blow to the whole porting efforts, which have only been getting bigger over the years, and also developers of native applications. Those developers and/or porters greatly contribute to the Sailfish ecosystem with their work, and overall make it more robust and more attractive as more devices or applications are available. There may be consequences of this on Jolla and Sailfish itself, which I guess have been weighed before coming to this, but this is very concerning.

I hope the reception by the developers can help reconsidering the decision, or that proper and equally convenient alternatives maintained by Jolla can be proposed in return of what the porters and developers made of Sailfish. Self-hosting and building locally sounds like a huge pain that would surely discourage a good fraction of those key community people. They are literally already saying it all over the various Telegram or IRC servers, or here; this can’t be overlooked.

[Edit] Well, a significant contributor already left the boat and moved to another OS today with an announcement on his repository. :\

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If OBS is going to be removed, i’ve talked with basil from openrepos and he will accept use of openrepos for OTA packages!

Original email

You can create a single application (one per release or device) and upload all packages to it.
Make sure to have the main package(meta package or whatever you have as a base installation package) as a #1 in list of uploaded apps (version settings as well some other info will be pulled from it).

Check this application as an example: https://openrepos.net/content/koenigseggccgt/developer-mode (note lots of apps)
or this one: https://openrepos.net/content/hanhsuan/libchewing (note main and devel package).

You may select the “Libraries” category for them. Such applications are not displayed on main pages or within the storeman app when updated.

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@maajussi, just a reminder and to be clear. As we discussed at the meeting, please reply to my questions above and let’s continue the discussion.

To make it relevant to the topic - I don’t think these “Changes are needed to merge the project names to Sailfish OS”. You could just rename OBS domain. So, the main part of the announcement has nothing to do with the project names.

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This is discouraging. First of all the title of this post is wrong. These changes are not needed only for the name change. This is certainly also for other reasons, that are not communicated properly. OBS and the git.sailfishos.org instance have been pretty valueable so far. While the move to github can be somewhat reasoned about, if you want to be more visible to the open source community, that uses Github primarily, closing OBS does not really fall in line with anything as far as I can tell. I would really like to know the actual reasons for this!

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Who did we lose? And why so early before jolla confirmed any of those as definitive changes?

It’s not for me to say¹ until they voice it themselves here to firmly correlate it with the OBS closure, as I cannot tell if there were other reasons; it seems multiple devs were tolerating some issues so far and this new hit could be one too many.

¹: If you are interested about running SFOS on X Compact, it’s easy to find.

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This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

I’m sorry you are taking it this way, I was trying to support devs, not looking for a fight. He just confirmed on IRC that this is related to OBS, so: g7.

Also, this was just an edit to my initial post, not the main point, and not really worded as you summed it up.

Not sure if anyone here is not supporting devs, but ‘ballerinas’ that quit at any whiff of what they don’t like, probably not many (add to that: dev I mean is very important but also wants to stay anon), just say it or stop pretending

It was just me being overcautious until he confirmed explicitly; he just did.

Back to the general topic, discussions since yesterday here or on IRC show that others are waiting for the final decision on OBS, but are considering this could be the reason to move on. Not only because of it, there are other issues they’ve been living with so far, but OBS closure, if confirmed, will make their work more difficult to the point that some think it won’t be worth it.

I wanted to voice my concerns in one post, but I’m no dev and can’t make more valuable contributions to this discussion, so I’ll just leave the space for the questions @rinigus has asked.

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I am not a developer, so it is very difficult for me to have a good judgment.
But what i don’t understand is the choice by Jolla of Microsoft (Github, a proprietary service !).
For me the choice of Github is not really safe.
Cf : https://carlchenet.com/le-danger-github-revu-et-augmente/
Sorry it’s in french. But it’s really a good reading.

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