News and Updates
FOSDEM is coming up in a couple of weeks. Marius, Dalton and Flo are attending.
The Second TELEports Hackathon will be in Stuttgart on the 26th of January, to work on the new Telegram app.
GitLab is being used for building TELEports and works very fast. So, really there were two projects going on at the same time during the first hackathon. We have learned a lot about Gitlab as we have worked on TELEports.
Wayne was present to speak about a particular topic, in his official Steering Committee role. Sadly, the web form submissions to our website have been faulty for at least the last six months. A complete shutdown would have been noticed but this was a sporadic failure. In particular, replies which we sent were shown in the system as being complete but had not actually been sent out by the system. With a recent final collapse, all of the records which we did have were lost, so we have to start again. Aside from our sincere apologies to those people who did not get their replies, our thoughts go out particularly to Milan, who has put a huge amount of effort into (as he thought) preparing and sending responses. Sad to say, the technology let us down.
Of course we are going to repair the system and to fully investigate what happened.
For now, if you do not want to join forums, Telegram or Matrix to ask us questions, please write to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org This is a normal email address, not a web form so it does not rely at all on our web technology and we will be sure to answer you in the normal way.
A blog post on Digital Ocean will be going up very shortly, explaining the various ways in which they assist UBports.
Is it possible to use some of the work done on FluffyChat to benefit TELEports?
Flo confirmed that aspects of the telephone number handling have already been moved across. There is also a merge for push notifications which has crossed over. Krille will also be at the second hackathon, helping with TELEports but also hopefully getting some ideas for FluffyChat.
Is there an approximate roadmap for TELEports?
Originally Flo said towards the end of 2018. As soon as next week we want to move the remaining parts over to Gitlab. A new icon is being worked. Functions still outstanding are group admin activities and dialogs. The biggest items are reply forwarding and media handling. Those should be sorted around early Spring. Adding members and moderating will come last in development because fewer users need those things. Hopefully audio message upload and play will be completed.
At the end of the queue are things like proxy implementation. We are aiming to be the equal of Telegram clients on any of the major platforms. Eventually, we would even like to enable phone calls.
Gitlab is the easiest way to engage with the group of developers working on TELEports. You don't have to be a developer to communicate with us there. The forum is as always the best place for questions that you don't want to be lost in the noise of Telegram etc.
Will there be any bootcamps on subjects such as oFono or porting?
Marius responded saying that he will finally get round to doing his live porting session next week! It will be a recorded session so you will be able to go back to it and use it as an educational resource.
Tygerpro has been working on a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 port. That is extraordinary because when he joined our community he was a complete novice and has picked up all the knowledge he needs by study and asking questions. Better still, he has been documenting everything as he goes, to help others who want to try. Spoken explanations are way better than struggling through written documentation.
Purism and libhandy - UBports is going with Qt but will there be some crossover?
Marius said that he expects there will be a lot of sharing between PureOS's SDK and the UITK.
GTK can run in xMir but not at all easily at the moment. Early days but we will assess and take it from there.
Is money the only thing slowing down UT development?
The discussion occupied the remainder of the Q&A.
The simple answer was no. With Open Source the biggest value comes from community input, in all its forms. you cannot buy that and indeed the wrong sort of money can undermine that community involvement.
We need money of course - that is why we have sponsorship.
The challenge is how to have a marriage of successful business and community values.
Money can be used as a catalyst to get things done.
What if an external business could work alongside us?
Marius said that the Canonical model had issues. Redhat would be a better example. The Linux Foundation have multiple companies sponsoring them, which reduces the influence of any single business. A variety of working relationships with, for example, multiple phone manufacturers could work in a more balanced way.
Wayne put forward the idea of a toaster company that wants to use just part of the UT software, adapt it, and use it in their toasters. Sure. If they follow a GNU license and don't close off those parts of the software and make them proprietary.
UBport Foundation will be able to do those kinds of deal.
A suitable partner should want the UBports community to thrive as it is but engage and sponsor as a contributor. That contribution could be in kind e.g. by loaning out their own in house developers to work with us on particular projects. That interaction could bring benefits to them but also to all users of Ubuntu Touch, either directly or indirectly. That could be through a transfer of knowledge or testing out something which we had not previously considered doing.
Wayne made it clear that the question is not academic. He is talking to several people who have business ideas.
Flo pointed out that businesses are generally under pressure to earn money fast. We are fortunate in being able to move more slowly. We don't have issues such as employees who need a salary from us to pay the mortgage.
Canonical abandoned UT because they did not see how it could be made commercially viable over the necessary time frame. We don't have the same kind of pressures in our way of doing things.
As the next slot for a Q&A coincides with FOSDEM there will probably be a slight delay until the next one, unless we find some way to broadcast from there live.
Why does Marius always present from a different room?
Marius explained that this one is in fact the original room but he has now fitted it out as a work area and and has at last got a great new webcam. Since the camera cannot easily be moved around, he will be using that room regularly for future Q&A sessions.