Support for official Fairphone 3+ port - FairSail -

It’s the least niche it’s ever been.

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May I suggest getting back on topic.

  1. What @mal has been doing with his port is very interesting. Thanks! Maybe some of us can help him finishing the required testing and other tasks, e.g works for the update to SFOS 4…

  2. Probably it’s worth taking the question of licenses for community ports to the next IRC community meeting.
    Who’d be willing to do so?

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Thank you for bringing this back to my original point. I think there is some sort of consensus here (albeit not quantifiable) that a licence for a community port of SF for say Fairphone is a point of interest.

I raised the issue so I think it is appropriate that I raise the issue in the IRC meeting or at minimum contribute to this. However I have not attended such meetings before nor am I any way involved in software development. My contribution can be from more of a long term user lay-person perspective as I am not as heavily involved in the community as others maybe.

@mal A contribution from you would also be helpful if you see fit. As you are the maintainer of the port.

How would one approach this, could we draft a statement with contributions over a number of interested users here outlining different perspectives ? This way it can be more of a collective type of approach where the overall direction of the question and feedback is broadly agreed.

Other ideas?

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Agreed. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Jolla sold Sailfish licenses at cost just to cover their license obligations back to Microsoft, etc for the 3rd party technology used the paid version.

I think the issue is far more on Jolla’s side than on the user’s side. The user doesn’t have to upgrade his/her phone every two years but since Sony change their current phone range with that type of frequency Jolla does have to re-work Sailfish to work on a new phone roughly every two years. They have to do this, not least because if they don’t you’ll never be able to get Sailfish on a current phone and totally new users will be relegated to searching for old phones on eBay to use Sailfish at all. Image wise it would also be a disaster - a modern, currently developing, phone OS, a wannabe competitor to IOS and Android in terms of functionality, security, etc, but only available on old second-hand or very difficult to find hardware. How would that look to new customers?

If they then decide to support a particular phone (as they have done) for many more years than that then they then have to support an ever increasing range of, primarily, old phones. So originally we had the Xperia X range, then we added the XA2 rangle, then the 10 range, and now the 10ii range. What’s next?

We’re always being told how small Jolla is and how few resources they have as reason that things don’t get fixed or done, so the need to support and release new versions of Sailfish on an ever increasing range of phones seems doomed to fail eventually - and that’s when the user will get affected.

So, for example, I believe Jolla have already said that they won’t do 64-bit on the XA2 range - so when they have stretched their resources beyond breaking point supporting both 32 and 64 bit versions of Sailfish across the last 6 or 7 years of Sony phones I fully expect them to withdraw support and development for the 32 bit version - therefore leaving only the 10ii and any potential successors. A re-assessment has got to take place at some point.

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It doesn’t have to be a FP3. The point is here that by partnering (in some commercial fashion) with a phone hardware manufacturer with a much longer hardware refresh cycle more of those scarce Jolla software development resources can be focussed on just getting one phone really well sorted (especially with better access to the lower level hardware interfaces and adaptations) and supported (potentially with the advantage of in-model upgrades as well) before having to move onto the next model. Experience has demonstrated that the Sony 2 year refresh cycle has left us with a trail of ‘never quite got there’ phones because no sooner has Jolla got Sailfish ported to one phone they have to move on and do it all over again to the next phone - probably almost immediately and without time to iron out some of those basic bugs with the core functionality that makes the product so frustrating for many.

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As for the IRC meeting: have a look at the first paragraph of the recent community newsletter. Flypig explained it there
Thanks for taking the initiative!

Now you are just guessing about things you don’t know enough about.
I also don’t know enough to make recommendations, so i don’t.

Probably, indeed. This is demonstrably false.
SFOS for the Xperia 10 came out November 2019, the Xperia 10 II wasn’t added to the Open Devices Program until June and iirc porting didn’t start as a company effort until a bit later still.

All supported devices get adaptation-related updates, like kernel updates, almost every release by the looks of the changelogs.

I also don’t see what is so magical about the Fairphone 3. It’s a good project and all that, but it is still the same type of android-only/android-first hardware. It isn’t even mainlined as far as i can tell… and even if it was, that’s mostly the SoC. Modem and sensors etc will still be a similar hassle.

For me it is not at all obvious that fewer ported devices automatically leads to better quality. Having seen fewer manifestations of same/similar problems could just as well lead to not-as-good architecture, less experience etc, and hurt that way. I don’t know, and i’m happy to make that clear.

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I’m really glad you’re around to tell me what I do and don’t know - what would I do without you? :wink:

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Thanks to the pandemic, Jolla received a short break in this race. Because Xperia 10 II introduction to the market was delayed by a few months due to the pandemic and chip shortages. And it still doesn’t help the fact that by the time the official license is released, the most recent SFOS-compatible Xperia devices are nearly out of stock, and this happens recurrently. This is yet another flaw with the approach, which would not be an issue with the FP.

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@Steve_Everett

I missed the IRC deadline so I could not raise this topic. I was present this morning but my question was too late submitted to the forum for consideration, I did not realise deadline was -3 days before themeeting. My apologies as I said I would do this, during vacation its hard to get online and not have my wife in my ear.

I will raise it next time.

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Attah is correct in observing that you don’t seem to understand that jolla doesn’t re-invent the wheel with each device. It’s a process of adaptation. Much like the community ports which often have a bunch of overlap.

This also applies to devices like the Volla phone (a port from Adam Piggs), which is what I use. That port also works with the ‘parent’ device, a Gigaset GS290 and the GX290 (both of which I have running). I’m happy with that route, but I don’t use android. It’s a nice port. I enjoy developing for this phone.

Mal has been working on the FF 3 for some time and I believe (?) it works with 3.4. I have a fairphone 2 with 3.4 running, but it’s obviously an old phone, even though I still like it. Have you asked mal what the status is?

EDIT: mal has 4.1 running on the FF2 …

EDIT 2: Just a further note, I’m a fan of community ports and still think it’s important to make the work I do end up in ‘their’ store. I’d like to have hybrid models and not just the standard ones. That includes getting my apps to run on phone like the ubuntu touch and so on and trying to build a larger ecosystem out. Some other devs (see Puremaps or fahrplan) also seem to share that approach.

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Vollaphone? They have put extra work in to get ubports to install sailfish, which makes it easy for newcomers. Ok, it’s not got android. Nor does it have ios.

That’s not really my point, or indeed of others expressing a similar opinion.

Of course I don’t understand the precise technical details of what Jolla needs to do (the ‘task’) for each new Sony phone, but I don’t need to.

Whether the ‘task’ is reinventing the wheel completely, or a developing adaptation of something similar doesn’t matter. It is sufficient that the ‘task’ takes a non-trivial amount of Jolla’s time and effort for each new phone - and even then each new adaptation task often takes months or years after it is released to iron out all of the issues that a lot of users are experiencing.

Since this seems to be required every couple of years or so for Sony devices, and by the time each new phone has been added to the Open Devices programme and Jolla has done the ‘task’ on it, that ‘new’ phone has already become an ‘old’ phone and is now often out of stock and difficult to find.

So for example, the most recent mainstream models for Sailfish are the XA2, Xperia 10 and Xperia 10ii. The rest of the world has already moved on to the 10iii and the 10iv is due for release in, I believe, 9 months or so.

Now personally I am not a fan of a new phone every two years or so - its not necessary from a user or a sustainability perspective - but if I do want or need to buy a new phone I actually want to be able to buy one that’s (a) actually obtainable without difficulty, and (b) not already obsolete before I buy it.

Not having to do the ‘task’ every couple of years or so (please note the ‘or so’) would also save Jolla time and effort which could then be directed at fixing all of those annoying, frustrating and sometimes quite basic bugs in an adaptation which drag the quality of the finished product down so much.

That was my (and that of others) point. And whilst I know the people on this forum are mainly developers, please remember that not every issue, problem or opinion should be viewed from a technical perspective. Sometimes things should be looked at through the eyes of the people who are the purpose behind the very existence of Sailfish - the humble phone user :wink:

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Perhaps Shiftphones (dot com) would also be interesting.
the website reads well :slight_smile:

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We don’t know the internal kitchen of Jolla, of course. But what is apparent is that each new sailfish-compatible Xperia device comes with a unique set of bugs. This means they need to be worked on an individual basis anyways. And the more devices you have to disperse your resources to, the less labor-hours resources each device will get. That’s why we see the trend of the sheer number of bugs (across all devices) multiplying rather than reducing over time. It’s very simple logic, and saying that every new adaptation is not work from scratch doesn’t exactly address the concern we’ve been raising.

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Jolla chose Sony not just based on the hardware but their expected professional relationship – which, last I heard, they were happy with.
Remember, this is a corporation of what, a dozen people? They don’t have the resources to investigate yet another relationship like this.

Sailfish X licenses for other phones are tricky because what if they don’t work? Jolla don’t have the resources to support them and don’t want to supply non-working products.

You have to remember that just because you would really like something to suit Jolla, doesn’t mean it does.

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The last company filing for Jolla Oy (Ltd) that I have access to is from 2019 and lists 37 employees, so of course a small company in the grand scheme of things, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be successful in delivering a high quality product - you just have to have the right business model.

If I hear the excuse that Jolla can’t do this or that because “they are only a small company and don’t have many resources” again I think I will :scream:. This seems to be a standard forum response now to any long standing issue, no matter how serious, that hasn’t yet been addressed - bugs, hardware adaptation, lack of VoLTE - you name it.

We all get the fact that “Jolla is only a small company with limited resources” - seriously, we really do. But that doesn’t have to be a negative excuse for not doing something well - you just have to find a different and more efficient way of doing whatever it is - and that is what this thread is discussing, mainly, in a positive way.

Some might advance the argument that they already do supply non-working products, or at least those that don’t work properly months or years after release (GPS on XA2?, Bluetooth on most phones?, Loss of network on Android?, MS-Exchange reliability?, Loss of audio on calls?, …) and indeed Jolla themselves already recognise that their resources are spread too thinly across too many devices:

Adding new devices to the Sailfish X portfolio comes with a cumulative maintenance cost. We simply don’t have the necessary resources to do it justice given the older hardware and several additional HW adaptation versions needed to support them now and in future.

So, perhaps they are beginning to (or already do) recognise that their current business model is becoming unsustainable for their size of business. The solution? Change the business model to one which better fits the available resources.

Err … I’m the customer (along with loads of others), so of course I expect a company to develop a product to suit its customers’ needs. If a company ignores what its customers want or need in its chosen market then that will result in declining market share, diminishing profitability, a resulting contraction of a company’s resources as a result and, ultimately, oblivion. That’s just basic economics.

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@attah, @Nautilus, @Steve_Everett, @poetaster, @David
Guys, don’t get me wrong but you’re going OT way too often. As interesting as your discussions may be: please don’t take the topic ‘hostage’.
I’d like to read news about the FP port for Sailfish here. I’m asking you to take arguing over viewpoints and opinions about style and efficacy of Jolla’s business model to anothther thread.

Maybe we need to ask for an #off-topic category of sorts…:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Disagree. This discussion is completely on-topic.

The thread is discussing an alternative approach to the Sony Open Devices program as the primary and only hardware vehicle for Sailfish outside of Aurora. This to be achieved by proposing the use of an alternative hardware device (the Fairphone in this thread, but it could be others) that has a much longer market lifecycle, and which would allow Jolla to focus their limited resources on one model of phone only for a longer time - an official change of approach, and of necessity, their business model as well. These two things are inextricably linked and cannot be separated.

The thread is about how Jolla could achieve this as an officially supported product, not as a community port without predictive text, Exchange support, Android support. If anything the community port of Sailfish to Fairphone is the off-topic bit for this thread.