Organising the afterlife of firefox os


(ralf tauscher) #1

hi fellow foxpack,

what about making a plan for the afterlife of firefox os 2.6?
so we are prepared for may.

for example:

  1. forking it away from tier3 breakage?
  2. setting up our own marketplace? -> something like fdroid in the free android world
  3. doing our own distro with the default apps we like to survive? -> b2g foxpack edition?
  4. giving compile/flashing lessons in every region where we live? -> “digging new fox dens”?

all that we need for a fine mutiny of our beloved os :wink:

According to the idea in the
shadowing topic I think we need help and support to set it all up.

update:etherpad firefox os is not dead is already happening. I hope all people trying to rescue firefox os will find each other.


(Salvatore) #2

What about this proposal https://discourse.mozilla-community.org/t/firefox-os-connected-devices-announcement/6864/91?u=erotavlas?


(ralf tauscher) #3

hi, also a nice idea.

there is also a great proposal here: https://public.etherpad-mozilla.org/p/save-fxos-proposal

I think most important is to combine forces, to get the most out of it.


(erosman) #4

Is Firefox OS dead and buried?
Should we bin our Firefox OS phones (Flame)?


(ralf tauscher) #5

no, its the oposite. you should care and tend them.

firefox os is free software, it will never die.


(Ghaith) #6

That’s the good thing about Free Software, even if we throw it away,someone will come around and help it spring back to life.
The community may do well maintaining the OS, but soon or later we’re going to have a problem with hardware : A new phone is manifactured almost daily, and we’re going to lag behind without proper financial support, also how are we going to spread the OS ?

Software-wise we can do well, but what about the hardware side of things ?


#7

My two cent’s: I’m not so optimistic about FxOS future. Theoretically it’s all opensource so anyone can step in and contribute. I’m afraid though that developing an entire OS requires means, money, time and a coherent strategical vision which is difficult to obtain without Mozilla’s developers (which, also, are among the few to truly understand the OS). Firefox OS is too young and unfinished to be simply manteined: it needs a lot of missing features and the platform itself isn’t mature enough. Lots of stuff was going on recently, and all of this has been frozen.

Anyway, I hope to be proven wrong, so I’ll try to make a constructive comment. My opinion on the Marketplace: having one is a big mistake. FxOS is based on the web, which provides content not through centralized stores but through search engines. The Marketplace has been an endless source of issues for FxOS, including requiring a full team of testers to approve apps (which led to months-long queues). I think FxOS would do better without a marketplace. Moreover it would save lots of energies to drop it, and energies are never enough.


(ralf tauscher) #8

+1 for not doing a marketplace. My thought was just to save the status quo right now. before people are removing their stuff from the marketplace, maybe we should archive them. A pitty that mozilla was not giving a special field to input the free software licence information, so we know which apps we are allowed to redistribute. instead of these apps, we will need the support for these “progressive web apps”.

I understand also your pessimistic view, I just dont want to have something dead that excited me since fosdem 2012.


(Luis Richard Dominguez) #9

Good idea, but Hardware in Mobile architecture it is so varied. I thing for that you idea ir is will can viable if:

  1. The community do the big work is include driver and support for various chipset, wifi, sound, 3g, late, GSM, screen of various phone XD

  2. that one or various phone manufacter will be produce phone with Firefox os

  3. will be exist a phone, with the concept open hardware for to make rom compatible with Firefox OS


#10

I think the Firefox OS experience so far suggests to drop the hardware to focus on the software. Any attempt to deal with hardware, producers and carriers so far resulted in either a suboptimal experience or a complete failure (remember the Open C?). Moreover linking the OS to a specific hardware puts the hardware faults on the OS. How many times I heard that FxOS was slow when it actually was the cheap hardware responsible for it… We don’t need specific Firefox OS phones when we can flash Sony smartphones and many others!


(Philippe) #11

Hi, I joined the people that will keep FirefoxOS alive and I want to join this conversation.

Concerning the marketplace, my opinion is balanced. Indeed, the marketplace needs a lot of work but I think we need a place where users can easily find apps. Maybe use the marketplace to only do links to reference apps. Developpers can propose to install it in Javascript or choose to keep an online app. We remove one problem which is host apps by ourselves.

Enrico, could you give examples? I use my FirefoxOS phone every day and I have almost all what I need.

I totally agree with you. We support already a great number of phones. If we need to support new phones, I think we need to keep Sony Xperia devices compatible with FirefoxOS. These are great phones with acessible tools to flash them. Moreover many people buy them.

For me, FirefoxOS has already all what most people need in a smartphone. Focusing our efforts on the bugs to have a really stable version of FirefoxOS should be great. Furthermore, listing the most wanted apps/addons and make them is a good goal I think. This will be useful to a lot of people and it could resolve some lacks in the OS.


#12

While I’m usually quite prone to compromise, in this case I think a community-driven Firefox OS should have a somewhat extreme design. Given that resources would be far less than they have been (and were not enough anyway), no compromise is possible: either something is essential, or it should be dropped. This is the case, I think, with the Marketplace: it’s resource-hungry, has been quite disappointing so far, and, most of all, it is not “web-like”. Apps are just one of the paths an OS can follow, and I think FxOS should look to other paradigms.

The good news is, Forefox OS would radically shift its market target: not anymore first-time smartphone users, but tech-savy people (where tech-savy means being able to follow the guide to flash FxOS on a device, nothing too extreme). This means a lot of old concerns can be dropped: to hell the Marketplace, we don’t need that, we know how to find content on the Net already!

This though brings forth another issue (or better, THE issue): who’s making choices? Let’s say we have to choose whether to keep or trash the Marketplace, and we have different but sensible opinions on the matter. Mozilla’s lead meant that there was someone in charge with sufficient knowledge, experience and influence who, after listening to the userbase opinions, made the decision. (Or it should have, I don’t want to discuss Mozilla’s choices here.)

The issue, I think, is that an OS is a HUGE project to manage. It’s not possible to just make a list of proposed features and vote for them, the project should follow an organic vision, which at times may go agains’t the userbase’s direct wishes (for example by dropping the Marketplace, which would surely anger many users and app developers). I don’t know who may have sufficient knowledge, experience and influence (and interest in FxOS) to lead such a project.

Reguarding FxOS missing features, I’m not talking about essential features: I’m using a FxOS device too and I can do mostly anything with it. Though, this doesn’t mean there is nothing left to do. Quite the converse, I think, to be somewhat comparable with other mainstream OSs. Just to name a few:

  • Push messages/notifications everywhere (at the moment the Email app checks every once in a while).
  • Sync everything (history, passwords, contacts, bookmarks…)
  • Full disk encryption
  • Homescreen (now it’s so bare-bone)
  • Voice assistant (every major OS has one already)
  • Transition to NGA is frozen halfway I think (but I may be wrong)

This is just to list a few, but there are also more general issues: performances (now the comparison with Android, on the same hardware, is not so good) and tons of small features and fixes (and small features and fixes make the difference, just think how polished Android and iOS are).

I wrote far too much. This won’t be an easy task and I’m quite pessimist about it, that’s what I wanted to express. Still, I’m happy so many people care for and belive in FxOS!


(Damian Serrano Thode) #13

The way I see it, the future of FirefoxOS should be organized just like the Linux kernel or Ruby on Rails is directed, a core decision group that drives the future of the project with support from all the developers around the world.

At the minimum, a list of the most necessary features to kick-start development, and later accept community submissions and patches that are reviewed by the core members or the people delegated to this task, for Q&A and compliance to the project style of coding, internal structure and things like that.

Regarding the missing features enumerated, yes, they are all great, but we must not forget that FxOS is going to miss a global infrastructure to coordinate the information from the users smartphones, so no global push notifications, synchronization and all the other things. Like you said, it should be aimed to the tech-savvy, but not only the one able to flash a phone, but also the one that has his own private server, cloud slice, or whatever that can install the required server software for all the synchronization of accounts, bookmarks, photos, whatever between all his devices, and make his backups of data, too.

Just my two cents. I see it a tough task, buy maybe not impossible.


(erosman) #14

Let me see if I understand this correctly… AFA Mozilla is concerned, Firefox OS is dead and buried.
Mozilla Will Stop Developing And Selling Firefox OS Smartphones

The future of Firefox OS is left to the enthusiasts … which is better than nothing but not practical for the average user at all. !!!

I have been using the Alcatel Flame phone that I got at London Mozfest. Is it time to drop it and look for a new phone? I am not familiar enough with mobile OS to root it.

Off-topic: Can other OS be installed on above phone?


(ralf tauscher) #15

its not at all off-topic. If you ask me, please stick to it so we have the chance to get Firefox OS to survive this. If we delete it, its dead.


(Rubén Martín ❌ [Away till March 25th]) #16

Just a quick note on Ari’s reply about a transition plan for Firefox OS

https://discourse.mozilla-community.org/t/im-ari-jaaksi-svp-of-connected-devices-ama/6975/21


(Lapineige) #17

Hello everyone,

With a group of people, we are gathering people and ideas about organising a community based alterlife for Firefox OS.
We have now quite a few proposals, and a lot of people, so we want to share them and to get in touch of other groups of people doing the same things.
I’m opened another topic in order not to pollute this one: https://discourse.mozilla-community.org/t/firefox-os-is-not-dead-on-smartphones-gathering-people-and-ideas/7088
So if you want to keep the fox alive, come on ! :wink:


(Sergi) #18

It’s not necessary give support for 100% devices. iOS don’t do and it’s the best example of market success!!! :wink:

I think that the best idea would to maintain updated the PERFECT performance of the Firefox OS system in a few devices EASY TO FIND IN THE MARKET. It’s enough. But i vote for try to guarantee always the availability of the LST VERSION to each device! :wink:


(Lapineige) #19

I’m not sure iOS is a model to follow, it do not respect its users, and force them to buy new (apple) phone often.
But I understand that it’s to much work to support every phones. Just impossible.

But we can rely on CyanogenMod for the porting work, and after port Firefox OS on the phone - it’s not a big deal. And with that we have already a lot of phones.


(Damian Serrano Thode) #20

I haven’t looked up the details yet so I can’t talk on the technical impact of such a decision, but basing the future of FirefoxOS on CyanogenMod could be the best thing, because there is a lot of ground covered already, and the spread of the operating system would be wider and faster.