[Tinkerphones] ZeroPhone site offline
paul at boddie.org.uk
Mon Jan 3 22:31:04 CET 2022
On Monday, 3 January 2022 21:32:16 CET Andreas Kemnade wrote:
> > > "The Pine64 developers and the community need to put more focus onto
> > > making the PinePhone perform the most basic of mobile phone tasks, Like
> > > making and receiving phone calls, using headphone earpieces, receiving
> > > and sending SMS, phonebook. The basic essential stuff required for
> > > someone to just buy this pinephone and use it to replace a cheap android
> > > phone. Focusing on apps and UI and all that stuff means nothing if the
> > > average idiot cant use this phone out of the box!"
> > >
> > > https://www.pine64.org/2021/12/29/pinephone-community-poll/#comment-5521
> Well, I had also my bad experience: USSD is even working better with my
> simple dialer on the GTA04. So what is the point here. Designing
> something more complex than you have resources to test and maintain
I think I am wondering about the same thing as the person who wrote that
comment: are the developers actually interested in making a phone, or are they
more interested in making a platform for "apps" instead? I imagine there is
nothing remotely exciting about making a phone any more, and testing telephony
stuff is tedious and difficult, so why not just focus on the familiar, mixed
up with things like "convergence" that also appeared in that list of
Over two decades ago, I worked at a company making call centre solutions, and
the software had to interact with telephony gateway solutions (Dialogic
products) and ultimately the telephone switches themselves (stuff like Nortel
Meridian and whatever Alcatel were selling). Inbound and outbound calls had to
be handled, and there were occasions where we had to troubleshoot this stuff,
although it was largely done at the customer who had to suffer the
inconvenience and cost.
I am not saying that testing mobile telephony is necessarily any easier, and
the one thing that didn't arise in traditional telephony was the need to
optimise or control power consumption, but someone has to focus on the task
and just iterate until the thing just works as everyone expects. That might
need the software architecture to be designed appropriately, though, which
then requires people to acknowledge any issues and to adapt any existing
software architecture appropriately. There is presumably a reason why Android
is not just vanilla Linux.
> > > There's also a lot of complaints about Signal not being available for
> > > the phone, but I think that those people bought the wrong product.
> hmm, I do not understand the point, it would be good to have some
> messenger available, if it is opensource. I would expect that I cannot
> connect to everything, but at least to something.
Sorry for having been vague here, but many of the people wanting things like
Signal will belong to the crowd obsessed with "security" or "privacy" (the
appearance of those things, not necessarily those actual things).
Unfortunately, many of these people do not understand the dynamics around Free
Software or even open hardware: they just want something that lets them
communicate in a super-secret way and would probably buy anything sold to them
in the right way. Buying a work-in-progress phone running an alternative
operating system is most likely to be a waste of time and money for them, not
that they realise it yet.
> > > The PinePhone initiative seems to be an interesting experiment in seeing
> > > whether various Linux-plus-graphical-environment distributions can
> > > deliver a usable phone experience. I recall things being said about the
> > > Openmoko FreeRunner not being quick at handling calls, with assertions
> > > about the software stack not being responsive enough to deal with the
> > > different hardware-driven events, and I imagine that despite a lot of
> > > disdain for what Openmoko and others sought to achieve all that time
> > > ago, the situation is still not that great even now.
> So we are at the same place with just consuming more ressources for
Yes, I think so. I guess the PinePhone people set up the race and let the
different horses run around the course. If one gets to the end, they can at
least sell a phone with software on it. Some people will highlight an apparent
lack of investment in software by the PinePhone developers (this can be
discussed and disputed), but since they might well have a favourite in the
race, too, such observations might not be entirely objective.
People can be so obsessed with their "vision" and its realisation that, for
them, there can only be one winner. But as we've seen elsewhere in the Free
Software realm, it usually means there are no winners in the end.
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