Support for official Fairphone 3+ port - FairSail -

I think its something more than not just having positioning files. Sailfish on the XA2 range seems to have a particular problem which nobody seems to know how to fix (see GPS stopped working - Bug Reports - Sailfish OS Forum GPS stopped working - Bug Reports - Sailfish OS Forum). I honestly can’t believe its the XA2 hardware otherwise the same problem would exist with stock Android XA2’s and it doesn’t.

The positioning files help, if you’ve got cell reception - but even then it can take (for me) between 10 and 20 minutes before you get an accurate fix. If there is no cell reception it can take longer than an hour. I have literally come back from walking my dog on the north Somerset coast - a round trip on the beach and in the fields of about an hour and a half. I had my Sailfish XA2 on 4.1 with me with Pure Maps open. For the whole time I was out I was, apparently, in the same place about a mile out to sea in the Bristol Channel!

OK, so there wasn’t a good cell signal where I was (if any for most of the time) but over an hour and a half to get any reliable fix at all makes it completely useless.

Maybe that’s what they think, but as soon as somebody buys a Sailfish X license from them then there is a legal contract between the purchaser and Jolla for the supply of a product - so we definitely are their customers whether they like it or not.

I fully understand that their main focus and income stream comes from Rostelcom through their work on Aurora OS, but the community is a critical part of this. Not only does it give Jolla a large software test team for free but it is also, arguably, the main source of apps for Sailfish - which again costs them nothing. I use far more community produced apps for Sailfish than I do official Jolla ones and, sadly, the community apps are often better quality and less buggy as well.

I don’t know either - the only information I have for those previous years is a range of employees stated as “up to 50” - so it could be more, or less or around the same. I agree that not all employees will be coders, but for that type of company I would expect the vast majority of them to be involved in the software development and testing process, say at least 80% of that figure.

Ok. So a retry. Bear with me as I’ll try to explain my point better.

First an apology: Mentioning you as I did above is patronizing, pointing a finger. I am sorry - not the right way.
Then a correction: This topic is not limited to the issue of a Fairphone port alone. My mistake.

back to topic

The original questions formulated as a reference to determine what is ‘on topic’, if you will (edit using numbered list):

Summary of the results this topic has yielded so far

  1. As the title states: Fairphone(FP) could be such a hardware base.
    Question of licenses for community ports (such as the Fairphone one) will be brought up on the next IRC meeting
  2. As @rinigus pointed out one likely cause is usage terms of binary blobs for the FP
  3. Views differ but it’s seen as one possible options
  4. Raising the issues on IRC community meetings and support porters where we can

off topic comments

True. and it’s ok like that.
But that is beside the point. Also, as pointed out by @Steve_Everett it is a very relative statement.

Any discussion (or debate) needs a goal. A result to achieve, an outcome to reach. What’s the goal of repeating the same known issues over and over again?

To be honest sometimes I get the impression that many prefer complaining repeatedly about the same well-known problems instead of looking for ways how to help solving them or at least trying to understand the reasons.


There is no outcome to be expected of a lengthy back and forth between the yay and nay different users answer to the question if a specific bug is an impertinence (‘fix this now!’), a mild annoyance or does not exist to them at all.
Report it, describe it at best as you can, collect logs if possible. Anything else unfortunately is out of the hands of the non-dev community. Going on and on about it and re-repeating it will not change that.

Expectations and demands

I am not at all familiar with trade laws. Also I don’t know how tight the legal binding of the ‘fit for purpose’ concept is. Please correct me, if there’s anything wrong about this comment.

Yes, we are customers. But that’s no legitimation for any demands or expectations.
Looking at on the EULA of Sailfish:

  • Sailfish X is provided ‘as-is’ (cf. no 8). None of us have a legal claim to bug fixes and the like.
    Whether some marketing about Sailfish X could be misleading is yet another issue. But release notes including known bugs and deficiencies of any release are publicly available.
  • Also updates are not claimable. The license states these are provided by Jolla at their discretion (cf. no. 1).

This is notwithstanding of course the voluntary (and economically reasonable) commitment of Jolla to deliver updates and improvements to their product. Just the perspective from a legal point of view

Business model, resources or customer focus: Speculation, speculation, speculation (plus some educated guesses)

@David: Do you have a source for that?

Yes, Jolla is very ‘thrifty’ with explanations or information about internals. Be it product and business strategy, personal resources or development focus. While arguable it is Jolla’s prerogative.
Naturally, we search to explain the unclear points ourselves and try to understand acts and behaviour that seems unlogical to us.
But that does not solve the original problem: We don’t know the reasons.

There are two things we can do:

  1. Ask Jolla at the community meetings about the why, what and how, pose these questions to employees or even Sami Pienimäki directly - if anyone get’s the chance to get hold of him on some conference
  2. Accept whatever answer we get or do not get. Then think about what can be done to improve or change things.

Customer: “Excuse me, I just bough this brand new toaster, but it doesn’t toast bread - its broken!”

Supplier: “Oh dear, I am very sorry - did you check the purchase agreement?”

Customer: “Err, no…”

Supplier: “Well, it says we sold you the toaster ‘as is’ - so I’m afraid that’s just your bad luck”

Customer: “You mean you’re not going to do anything about it?”

Supplier: “No, we don’t have to do anything about it at all. Of course we might fix it for you … then again we might not. We might fix it in the next couple of days … or it might be years. Actually we might decide to just bring out a new model of toaster and forget about your model… in any case, whatever we decide to do … or not to do … we won’t tell you beforehand!”

Customer: “So will I get the new model toaster as a free working replacement for this one then?”

Supplier: No, Sorry, you’ll have to pay for it again … and of course that one might not toast bread properly either…”

Customer (Smiling): “Of course, that’s perfectly alright - I quite understand that I shouldn’t expect a brand new toaster to work properly. I am more than happy to just have my new toaster as a kitchen ornament…”

Now I assume you think the above situation is completely ludicrous and unacceptable - I know I would. But for some reason, if its not a toaster but a mobile phone OS then it becomes acceptable?

If it were as easy as that for a seller to avoid any liability for what they sell simply by puttling an ‘as is’ clause into their purchase agreements then everybody would do it and the world would have millions of unhappy customers…

Customer: “Excuse me but I’ve just spent 40,000 on a brand new Mercedes car and lots of things don’t work on it”

Supplier (Shrugging his shoulders before walking away): “Not my problem mate, it was sold to you ‘as is’!”

That’s why we have consumer law - its there in statute (the ‘law of the land’ if you like) to protect consumers and make sure they get what they were sold and what they are paying for. And you can’t override a statute just by putting a clause in a purchase agreement, the statute takes precedence (for any legal eagles out there I’m talking about implied contract terms - terms in a contract implied into it by statute).

Consumer law generally provides for any product sold to a consumer (i.e. not a business) to be sold on the basis of either (1) a specification, (2) a sample, or (3) its fitness for the purpose for which it was sold and bought. And any of these three methods are automatically part of any consumer purchase contract by law, even if they are not explicitly written into the contract document itself.

Sale by sample is obvious and generally used where lots of the same thing are bought and the customer needs to be assured that they are all the same as the sample. So, for example when farmers sell wheat grain it can be high quality grain (eg: for flour to make bread), or low quality grain (e.g. sufficient only for animal feed). So if the customer gets a sample of the grain and its high quality, all the other grain sold under the same contract must match the quality of the sample. If not, then it is a breach of contract.

Sale by specification is equally as obvious. For example, a toy ball - its red, spherical, made of butyl rubber and 6 inches in diameter - the spec needs to sufficiently describe the product being sold. Very rarely exclusively used for software as most software is so complicated and has so many functions and options that an exhaustive spec could run to thousands of pages covering functionality, performance, availability, serviceability, and so on.

Sale on the basis of fitness for purpose - essentially a ‘default’ method of sale when none of the others can apply. Here a product has to be fit for the purpose for which it was sold. You measure that by comparing it with other similar products on the market and a reasonable (reasonableness is used a lot in law!) expectation of what it should do. So a smart phone OS sold that can’t reliably make phone calls, or use GPS, or connect to a mobile data network for a paid component, etc would likely be judged not fit for purpose, whilst one which had a few minor bugs not affecting the core functionality of a smartphone would probably be judged fit for purpose.

If a product is not judged fit for purpose then that is a material breach of the contract of sale and the customer is normally entitled to damages. Sometimes, in the case of a warranty in the contract, the supplier gets an opportunity to put things right to avoid a breach (bug fixes for example, or a repair/replacement of the toaster, car, or whatever), but if there is no obligation to fix, then damages it is.

Normally this might be the refund of the purchase price, but there might be other damages too (e.g. the cost of an Xperia phone if the customer bought it solely to run Sailfish, or maybe even a consequential loss, like the loss of business caused by the not-fit-for-purpose product).

Obviously in real life these things rarely make it to court, especially for a product only costing 50 Euros - it simply wouldn’t be economic. In a lot of cases, for such a small value product, the customer simply ‘writes it off’ and moves on (as a number of new Sailfish users have on this forum). Usually a settlement is just agreed (e.g. a refund). Sometimes just the threat of court action will make a supplier pay some additional compensation.

If the non-working features are listed in the purchase contract between the customer and the supplier, or the customer’s attention is specifically brought to the non working features prior to sale, and the customer still buys the product knowing all these features are non-working then there is obviously no comeback.

Equally if the supplier declines to fix (within a reasonable time according to the severity of the deficiency) a problem with the product and the purchase contract does not require or obligate such fixes to be provided then that is a legally OK position for the supplier to take. However, it might then result in a breach of contract if the deficiency is severe enough to make the product unfit for the purpose for which it was bought and sold.

So the (very long - sorry!) answer to your question of whether ‘fit for purpose’ is legally binding is yes it is.

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Certainly any debate needs a purpose if not a goal. Restrict a debate too much and you end up with ‘group think’ - no new ideas, no solutions - just everyone subscribing to the same old opinions of the most forceful and loyal.

afaik Jolla had already discussed this with Fairphone. Fairphone is not willing to pay Jolla to put SFOS on their devices, so blame Fairphone, not Jolla.

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If lots of people, including those new to the forum, keep raising the same issues over and over again then (a) it shows the strength of feeling about them and the fact that they are ‘the’ issues that are hurting users the most, and (b) it gives Jolla a pretty good idea on what to concentrate on fixing. If issues were only ever raised just once for the record and never again then Jolla would lose this valuable information.

When I used to run helpdesks in my previous career as an IT director people used to report bugs and incident reports would be logged. An incident report about a bug would result in a problem ticket, and if a problem ticket had lots of incident reports (different users reporting the same issue) linked to it then this would up the priority of the problem ticket - more focus would result in a quicker fix. This is actually how the ITIL Service Management standard says these things should work.

I do, however, appreciate that reading about the same thing over and over again can become tiresome though!

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But does Sony pay Jolla for this? If not, why would Fairphone have to pay Jolla? It’s not so much so that Fairphone sells more phones, but rather so that SFOS works better on more phones, right?

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Yes, afaik Sony pays.
XA2 and X10-2 are both very good devices, imho there is no need mantaining more. If you want iOS, you do not have a choice, too.


Oh wow, didn’t know about this. How come it takes them so long to put devices in the Open Programme, then? And if they pay, why do they make supported phones so hard to buy after the next one is released? And why don’t they offer the option to preinstall, then, if they are paying Jolla for SFOS?

They don’t care, and nor do I, I am very very happy there is still a possibility to use SFOS personally. Main business is Rostelcom business partners.

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Isn’t iOS’s strategy the reason why Fairphone/looking for an alternative manufacturer of phones was suggested? Closer integration with the hardware so that the problems of the Sony phones’ parts working through compatibility and stuff don’t happen (sorry for butchering the technical terms for these things, I don’t know all of them :frowning: ). The devices, as you say, are good, the problem is mine drops connection all the time, freezes, Exchange works irregularly, long etc. So why not support officially a phone over which you can have more control when developing the OS?

This thread might well be a dead end, and nobody here expects or has the arrogance to expect that Jolla will change their business model just because a few people on a community might think it is a good idea, but it is an issue worth raising with them nonetheless in my view.

I’m not sure why Fairpone would be paying Jolla for a flashing service though - to me it would seem more normal the other way around - Jolla pays Fairphone to flash Sailfish OS to their hardware and the cost of doing this is then reflected in the purchase price of the hardware/software combination such that both companies would make a profit.

However, I am sure that there are lots of different ways of doing this.

Yep, that is the exact reason behind the suggestions in this thread.

Personally I don’t care whether I have Sailfish on a Sony, a Fairphone or any other type of phone - I just want it to work reliably and properly. I am a user, not a developer, and my understanding (or lack of) of why this or that doesn’t work properly is not an acceptance of the fact that it doesn’t work.

If a change of hardware supplier, over which Jolla has more control over and access to the hardware adaptation, such that both companies work together to produce a working product without Jolla’s limited resources being spread over an ever increasing range of phones with an ongoing and frequent replacement cycle, then this gets my vote (which of course is completely worthless in the grand scheme of Jolla’s development!).

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afaik Jolla had already discussed this with Fairphone. Fairphone is not willing to pay Jolla to put SFOS on their devices, so blame Fairphone, not Jolla.

Strange argument here :thinking:.
Did sony pay for SFOS on there devices? I don’t think so :nerd_face:.

It’s a bit hazy as a lot has happened since but I believe “sledges” said it when I met him I think the winter before COVID. He might have said “most programmers” and I’m reasonably sure he was working P/T at the time.
Given the dire financial state Jolla was in prior to Rostelcom, it’s easy to believe, contributing to my high certainty to claim it as true here.

I made most of the arguments here to him and he apparently had nothing to hide. As an authoritative source, I’m largely replicating his replies.
I suspect if Sony paid Jolla, he’d have mentioned it. He was quite clear that Jolla chose Sony largely because of the professional relationship. Awesome guy, by the way.


I have been away on vacation but it seems like quite a healthy discussion is ongoing. Thank you all !

Tomorrow we do have time on the IRC chat to discuss this with Jolla. Question was gratefully submitted on mybehalf by @sledges with enough time for a discussion.

Others are welcome to join otherwise I will be there.

Can we distil down the conversation to one or two sharp questions for the discussion, or points for me to refer to in the discussion ?

This is a link to the submitted questions : Community meeting on IRC 19th August 2021 - #3 by sledges

@rinigus provided a great answer on some legal aspects, which was a new insight for me thank you.

An awesome idea! Yes please.
Jolla might have studied this already, but even if they have, then study again!
The way with Sony as a companion seems to be a little bit too rocky one in my eyes…

You made it very clear. Well done! :slight_smile:

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Our intrepid crew went down to “just 20 employees at the end of 2015.

I’d guess most were part time. I’m not sure how quickly employment went up after the Rostelcom contract came in but it sounded like Jolla were very hesitant… either scarred by the ‘near-death experience’ or through contractual obligations to remain afloat.

Hope no-one minds me necroing the thread in a potentially off-topic way but I personally love Jolla’s underdog story.