[Community] Help to grow The Independent Mobile Tool Community!

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Wed May 8 16:07:26 CEST 2013

Hi all,
today I would like to ask you to help to grow the OpenPhoenux Independent
Mobile Tool Community.

Why do we need to grow the community?

We need many more active members contributing in all aspects of such a
project. We need developers, maintainers, testers, people discussing new
ideas, writing blogs, writing comments, going to fairs, making presentations,
running servers, teaching and convincing others that we are doing something

And we need more people interested in our software and hardware or we
will remain a side note of history.

Finally we can't get new members by waiting for them to come by chance.

What is this community about?

There has been a long discussion recently about next generation OpenPhoenux
devices and I got a lot of valuable inputs indicating that we even need a broader
view, so that I now feel that I am able to write down what this community is about.

And very important: what makes it different from other human activities!

This is important because any new prospective community member will ask
you and I hope that my proposals are the right answers to their questions
and make them join our community.

Most of us have origins in the OpenMoko community. OpenMoko did appear
in Nov 2006 as the attempt to provide the first really open Linux portable
computer with telephony functions. At that time this idea was very new - it was
announced 2 months before the iPhone 1 - and did catch a lot of attention.

In the meantime the world has changed a lot. iPhone comes with an Appstore
which has revolutionized the way independent software developers work.

Google has established Android and the whole smartphone industry has got
to speed to provide cheap (and some crap) devices with Android. Facebook
has appeared and also tries to get their-selves onto the Home screen of
smartphones. Smartphones have developed into tablets and phablets.

Combined with the millions of Apps, that are "mini-browsers" for specific
tasks, this is more or less the opposite what the "personal computer" idea
combined with a "world wide web" of connected computers was. In that
model everyone did have control over the data that was published.

This means that neither the device hardware nor the software and the
services provided by the network are the most important. I.e. we must see
all three (HW, SW, Services) as parts of a complete OpenPhoenux system.

If we look at what the big players are doing, it can be summarised as:
they fight to capture the user. They want to bring back the mainframe
concept (logically centralised services + dumb terminals) and use that
to provide walled (zoological?) gardens where the user does no longer
have any ownership of the data. They can even find out things about us
we don't know ourselves (at least we are not aware of).

So everything is about incapacitating the users like the "Borg" does. Apparently
half of the world population is happily accepting this, because the devices
are cheap, the software is glamourously polished. And the services are
apparently useful. And because the neighbour also has it. Like a mouse in
an experiment.

And we should not forget why devices are so cheap for us. On one hand they
are made in biggest numbers. But their production is not always based on fair
labour conditions. Sometimes they are subsidized to get more users into the
trap. Like free cheese for the mouse...

Fortunately, not everyone is accepting to be controlled by a handful of big
players, that are pumped up with stock exchange money to a level more
valuable than some smaller states. They want to remain individuals and don't
want to become part of a big machinery with the sole purpose of making the
shareholders happy.

And are willing to accept that a community developed device or software
can be as ultimatively polished and devices may be more expensive to

This is IMHO the dream of the OpenPhoenux community and everyone
sharing this view is welcome!

Fortunately we have almost all components in our hands to be really
independent of such big players:

* Software/GUI: SHR and QtMoko and Replicant
* Electronics: GTA01, GT02, GTA04, GTA0x (if enough demand)
* Mechanics: 3D printing, wood, aluminium
* Services: www.openphoenux.org could host many additional services
  (e.g. Diaspora, friendica) or support ideas like limesco

What OpenPhoenux stands for:
* participation by everyone
* extensible hard- and software - DIY
* allows to inspect what the system is doing (as far as achievable)
* can be repaired using standard parts (as good as possible)
* long-term support (e.g. software upgrades for an 2007 Neo 1973)
* no planned obsolescence through open hard- and software
* no central, intransparent, stock exchange listed instance that gives directions
* hardware development and production near to users (Europe) under fair labour conditions
* independent from the "modern mainframe" and back to the networked, decentralized web
* everybody plays client and server roles and keeps control over his/her participation
* makes the technical system transparent, not the user

Please discuss and share and distribute. And recommend our community
whereever you see/read someone complaining about big players trying
to capture the users. The OpenPhoenux Community is the independent

Subscription link for the mailing list:



More information about the Community mailing list