I’ve been following SFOS on and off for a few years, with particular interest this past year (to the point of getting the Xperia 10 II the moment it was said that it was on SFOS’ roadmap).
One thing that I don’t understand is how separated the community feels from Jolla itself. I don’t quite get it. SFOS is not used by many people, not well known, and in fact there’s VERY little content about it on sites like YouTube, where even incredibly niche things tend to attract a lot of content. Not only does this not seem to be a concern for Jolla, but it almost feels like they are not interested at all in motivating the community, and thus it seems like people have given up. After following the company and the community for quite a while, I just get the impression that Jolla does not care at all, and that’s not a very good mindset when it’s a project that would definitely benefit (maybe not financially right now) from closeness to the community, which promotes enthusiasm for the project and tends to then attract more people and, most importantly, talent to it. It feels like they are completely separate, starting from the fact that it’s so hard to understand documentation. I’m not completely tech-illiterate (wouldn’t call myself a proficient programmer either), but the Android community was way better at this at its inception. Yes, they quickly got the support of a MASSIVE company like Google, but that spirit of “openness” was there, the same spirit you can find on PostmarketOS, the Pinephone, etc. You feel welcome there, not only by its users but also by the main project leaders, like you can contribute and be listened to, and gradually learn the ins and outs of the software. It feels like every user can give back in their own way.
Yes, Jolla has the monthly community chat (yet their answers are so dry), and they do have the forum for bug reports, feature requests, etc. But, and I don’t know how to properly explain this, it feels like quite a cold place to be in (and don’t get me wrong, this is not due to the users, everyone I’ve talked to here has been super nice. I’m talking about the company’s approach to the community).
Don’t know if this is how others feel, but after being so enthusiastic about this OS for such a long time, I’m starting to feel a bit frustrated by the fact that Jolla just cares more about getting Russian contractors than about creating a proper piece of software that can be used globally, opening the phone OS landscape a bit more. Maybe I’m getting something wrong about their approach and I’m missing something, and if so, please do explain it to me and I will apologise if I’ve misinterpreted the situation. I just wish that this fantastic OS would attract more attention, more talent, be more supported and become gradually better!