[pkg-fso-maint] Future of Debian for GTAxx

Timo Jyrinki timo.jyrinki at gmail.com
Tue Mar 6 05:47:24 UTC 2012

2012/3/3 arne anka <openmoko at ginguppin.de>:
> uhoh, that doesn't sound good.
> after 1.5 years i am about to revive my GTA02 and update the old debian/sid
> installation.
> how many admins are there, still active? is debian a distribution with a
> future for the GTAxx?

Well at least me and the other Timo are reachable for any admin
matters, and more admin statuses can be easily given out if need be.
We became admins since there was one or two member requests to handle.

Debian is certainly a, maybe even the, distribution that has a future
for GTAxx. Debian's top most nice thing is that (most of) it doesn't
go away, while others might or might not slowly fade away. Certainly
SHR still has the most users, though, although Debian based QtMoko is
very popular as well. Debian is also shipped with the GTA04 devices.

The kernel is as ever an obstacle, since neither the scarcely manned
upstream or us has done the work to push the rest of the patches in.
For example, lindi has a list of patches over 2.6.39 at
http://lindi.iki.fi/lindi/openmoko/linux/2.6.39/ (although there is
the MMC shuffling included).

The other problem is that we lack free mobile UIs or resources to
package them, for which http://lists.debian.org/debian-mobile/ was
recently founded. What's related is that the most ready-to-be-used UI
is actually SHR's Enlightenment based user interface, but Debian's
pkg-e team practically consists of one person who is also largely
inactive - so Debian Enlightenment packages are out of date. Another
part of the problem is the E17 itself of course, which for a very long
time didn't do such things as releases. There is also not that much of
desktop side demand for it yet.

Qt / QML is very promising, but there aren't yet things like actual
phone UX that would use FSO or oFono. The MeeGo CE effort, now known
as Mer / Nemo Mobile, has legacy MeeGo Touch Framework based
applications (which do work very nicely, though) and a few new ones
which are pure Qt / QML and would work in Debian as well.

My own solution to the UI problem was my own GTK based "bunch of
buttons" app, https://github.com/tjyrinki/tihos - it's interesting how
simple things are needed for the "home UI" kind of thing at minimal. A
possibility to run every application full screen and to switch between
them, and to launch new applications. Optionally hardware settings
control if there is no other application for it. But it's so ugly that
it isn't really fit for Debian IMHO.

But... the UI part is now kind of "externalized" to debian-mobile
mailing list, so pkg-fso is nowadays more back to its roots of FSO
packaging and GTAxx support. Our main upstream FSO is also known for
not making much releases, so snapshots need to be packaged. Our former
pkg-fso package repository is all but obsolete, since everything
relevant except the GTA01/02 kernel is in Debian main. Installing
Debian should work as per instructions on


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