[Tinkerphones] ZeroPhone site offline

H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Tue Jan 4 19:30:38 CET 2022

> Am 04.01.2022 um 18:34 schrieb Paul Boddie <paul at boddie.org.uk>:
>> It’s extremely sad that after all these years with all our technological
>> advancements and choice of free software projects, getting the very
>> basic task – solid and reliable phone calls with tolerable
>> audio quality and battery life – right, still seems to be unachieved.
> Yes, we're back to the featurephone here! Maybe it needs doing after all.

Well, not really.

Making good phone calls does not require to reduce a device to feature
phone level.

QtMoko was a nice example. It did work really well on GTA04 incl. phone calls.
And Replicant 4.2. Both did have good audio quality and everything.

And the kernel was the best one we ever had: 3.7-neilplusplus.

It is still archived: https://projects.goldelico.com/p/gta04-kernel/
And the most feature complete kernel was 3.12 although not as good
as 3.7.

But it wasn't possible to merge all good aspects of those kernels into
a single one back then.

What also forced us to move to newer kernels was
a) upstreaming - they did no longer accept code developed for 3.7 or 3.12
and reworking patches to become upstream compatible takes more work
than initially developing them and testing that they do what is expected

b) GTA04A5 - had changed some hardware (WiFi and sensors) and that was
too difficult to add (backport) to these old kernels

Unfortunately there was also no breakthrough on reestablishing a working
build-setup for QtMoko. Several contributors worked hard on it
but we never reached a level productivity where it was just a git clone+make
or apt-get source + debuild for anyone who wanted to join efforts.

Basically the concapt was simple:
* untangle QtMoko into really separate debian packages
* add proper debian build scripts (instead of having a single big 2-days
  Makefile needing to set up a virtual machine)
* place sources and binaries on some server
* arrange that kernel and user-space are more in sync

But I also have good news. Just these days I finally fixed a deeply
buried memory leak in QuantumSTEP which made devices unuseable
because all applications were oom-killed after ca. 1 hour.

Since QuantumSTEP follows the ideas of separate debian packages
it is easy to work on this or that. E.g. make the phone dialer work
again (btw. internally it will be compatible to the CoreTelephony.framework
from Apple).

And, not to forget that Andreas has written Simple-gsm-gui which is
just a debian package waiting to be installed on all LetuxOS devices
(well, not all have modem or are supported by AT commands).

So in summary it does not need much to get phone calls working - if
we have hardware and a kernel that supports modem + audio. Independently
how many features (just address book or up to messengers, browser, navigation,
games etc. the remaining software has).


More information about the Community mailing list